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Joint Exchequer Committee

Published: 23 Sep 2015 16:54

Communique from JEC meeting on September 23, 2015.

The Joint Exchequer Committee (JEC) met in London today, chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Greg Hands MP. The Scottish Government was represented by John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy.

This was the third meeting of the JEC since the publication of the Smith Commission Report. Ministers continued their detailed discussions on the substantive elements of the fiscal framework that will underpin the financial provisions of the Scotland Bill.

The Ministers discussed resource borrowing and the need to ensure the Scottish Government has the flexibility to smooth public spending in the event of economic shocks, consistent with a sustainable overall UK fiscal framework.

The meeting also covered the initial baseline transfers for adjustments to the block grant and financial issues associated with the more complex items to be devolved such as the Crown Estate.

Ministers also had an initial discussion on the no detriment principle in the Smith Agreement, which states that neither government should be disadvantaged financially from decisions made by either Government post devolution.

Finally, Ministers considered options for the future governance of the fiscal framework.

The next meeting of the JEC will take place in October, in Edinburgh, chaired by the Deputy First Minister. Ministers continue to aim to reach final agreement this autumn.