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Scottish Fiscal Commission

Published: 10 Mar 2016 18:15
Part of:
Economy

Bill to deliver independence of commission passed today.

Legislation to give the Scottish Fiscal Commission a permanent basis in statute and ensure its independence has been passed by parliament today.

As set out in the fiscal framework, a series of amendments have been made to the bill which mean the commission will prepare independent tax revenue forecasts which will inform the Scottish Budget.

The bill will also allow the expansion of the commission's remit in future to include forecasting Scottish GDP and the additional tax powers due to be devolved under the current Scotland Bill.

Speaking after the bill was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

"The Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill will create an independent fiscal institution at the heart of Scotland's devolved fiscal framework. The bill ensures the commission's independence, transparency and accountability to parliament and the public.

"This is part of the wider agreement with the UK Government that saw us secure a fair deal for Scotland on the block grant adjustment, without a penny being cut from the Scottish budget.

"I am confident that the arrangements in the bill will ensure the commission is equipped to produce robust forecasts to support the Scottish Government's budget."

Notes to editors

Set up in 2014 ahead of the introduction of Scotland's first new taxes for 300 years, the Scottish Fiscal Commission was initially set up to scrutinise the government's devolved tax forecasts and already plays an important role in Scotland's fiscal framework.

The legislation published today will mean its rights and responsibilities are permanently enshrined in law. It will also provide a legislative basis to expand the commission's scope as further fiscal powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament.