Scottish Government Draft Spending and Tax Plans 2019-20

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th December 2018.

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Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

Maurice Golden is not as fortunate as other Conservative members who are on the Finance and Constitution Committee and who understand that the forecasts are based on Scottish Fiscal Commission numbers. The SFC looks at the baseline, and as it gets more evidence, it moves from the estimates that it has been working to and focuses on the actual outturn based on the latest data. I am sure that, if he pays close attention to the SFC’s forecasts, he will find that the difference is explained by forecasting issues rather than by any substantial change in the Scottish economy.

That said, Brexit is the major challenge to Scotland’s economy. The impact that Brexit will have on population, productivity and related issues such as wage earning is what is leading to the subdued GDP growth. If we had all the economic levers that come with being fully empowered as a country, we would be able to make the right economic decisions to grow our country. The SFC has made it clear that the issues are around its methodology and the forecasts that it has set out.