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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, March 18, 2021

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 18 March 2021

Agenda: First Minister’s Question Time, Business Motion, Portfolio Question Time, Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2021, Drug Deaths and Harms, Urgent Question, Standing Order Rule Changes (Private and Hybrid Bills), Standing Order Rule Changes (Delegated Powers Memorandums and Emergency Bills), Standing Order Rule Changes (Financial Scrutiny), Code of Conduct Rule Changes (Register of Interests), Decision Time


Standing Order Rule Changes (Financial Scrutiny)

The next item of business is a debate on motion S5M-24375, also in the name of Bill Kidd, on changes to financial scrutiny provisions.


The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s report proposing rule changes relating to the financial scrutiny of bills responds to the increasing role of revenue from devolved taxation following the changes that were made to the Scottish Parliament’s legislative competence by the Scotland Act 2016.

The proposed changes primarily relate to rule 9.3.2 and require that a financial memorandum sets out any changes to revenues

“resulting from taxation measures in a Bill”.

The changes also relate to rule 9.12, on when a financial resolution is required. The changes that have been proposed would help to ensure that, on the introduction of a bill, the Parliament would be provided with appropriate information about the financial implications of a bill to ensure effective scrutiny.

The changes would also

“ensure that changes to taxation revenues are factored into the decision”

as to whether there is a need for a financial resolution.

In order to ensure consistency, consequential changes to the rules relating to hybrid and private bills are also proposed. The SPPA Committee consulted business managers and committee conveners on the changes that are proposed, and the response from committee conveners was overwhelmingly supportive, particularly in relation to the proposed changes regarding improved potential to scrutinise financial memorandums.

I move,

That the Parliament notes the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s 3rd Report 2021 (Session 5), Standing Order Rule Changes on the Financial Scrutiny of Bills (SP Paper 964), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A of the report be made with effect from 12 May 2021.