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Parliament research and fact sheets

Financial Scrutiny

A main part of an MSP’s role is to inspect and analyse Scottish Government spending. They do this as part of their job:

  • in committee
  • in the Chamber
  • representing their constituency or region

The Financial Scrutiny Unit (FSU) works within SPICe. It gives independent analysis and support to Parliament committees and to MSPs. It advises on budgets and issues that affect the Scottish Government and Parliament. This includes:

  • costs of specific spending proposals
  • providing research on all areas of the economy and public finances 

The FSU: 

  • helps MSPs scrutinise the budget effectively 
  • produces financial costs and analysis
  • provides economic information and analysis

The FSU produces briefings and blogs on a range of areas such as:

  • the economy
  • finance
  • local government

You can find briefings on our Digital Hub and our blogs on SPICe Spotlight. 

The FSU also produce other resources and tools to help Members and committees with financial scrutiny. 

Latest Scottish budget and associated data

The Scottish Government will publish its budget proposals for the next financial year, 2024-25, on 19 December 2023.  This page will be updated with further information and links to SPICe research work as the budget process goes through the Parliament. 

Scottish Government budget documents

SPICe research work on the budget

Barnett consequentials and other funding changes 

UK Government budget announcements affect the Scottish budget. The UK Government may make changes on spending in areas that are devolved in Scotland. This can mean more funding is allocated to Scotland via consequentials. The Barnett formula calculates these resulting consequentials. These are based on Scotland’s population share of changes to UK Government spending in areas that are devolved in Scotland. 

Additional funding since the 2021 Spending Review (39KB xls)

Older data is available on request from SPICe.

SPICe budget tools – views welcome

In previous years, the Financial Scrutiny Unit and Data Visualisation Team have developed two interactive tools on the Scottish Government’s budget. You can find these tools on the archive parliament website. We are now looking to redevelop these tools and would welcome any feedback from users. Please contact SPICe with your views.

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