A parliamentary inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on the Scottish Government’s Budget for 2021/22 has been announced by Holyrood’s Finance and Constitution Committee.
In its call for evidence the committee says it would welcome views on what the Scottish Government’s priorities should be when addressing the impact of Covid-19 in next year’s budget.
The committee’s inquiry will also consider whether any temporary adjustments are required to the Fiscal Framework in response to the economic and fiscal impact of Covid-19.
Finance & Constitution Committee Convener Bruce Crawford MSP said:
“These are truly extraordinary times we are living through, and Scotland’s budget for 2021/22 faces unprecedented levels of uncertainty and volatility.
“This parliamentary inquiry will examine what the Scottish Government’s priorities should be for next year when trying to address the economic and fiscal impact of Covid-19.”
In its call for evidence, the Committee would welcome views on the following:
• What should be the priorities in Budget 2021-22 in addressing the impact of COVID-19;
• How should Budget 2021-22 address the unprecedented levels of uncertainty and volatility in the public finances arising from the public health emergency in such a way that allows public bodies some certainty in planning and managing their own budgets;
• Given the ongoing uncertainty and volatility, what changes to the budget process both within government and parliament may be required to ensure sufficient transparency and Ministerial accountability in a rapidly changing fiscal environment;
• What are the risks to the Scottish Budget arising from COVID-19 having a differential impact in Scotland both in terms of the impact on the Scottish economy relative to the rest of the UK and the impact on public expenditure including devolved social security benefits relative to the rest of the UK;
• What are the implications for the Scottish Government’s existing taxation policy arising from COVID-19 and what changes, if any, should be considered;
• Whether there needs to be temporary adjustments to the Fiscal Framework in response to the economic and fiscal impact of COVID-19 and, if so, what are the priorities and what are the risks;
• How should the MTFS address the uncertainties arising from the on-going health emergency.
• Whether there are any additional budget risks arising from the end of the transitional period following Brexit including having a differential impact on the Scottish economy relative to the rest of the UK and if so how should these risks be addressed in Budget 2021-22.
The deadline for submitting evidence to the committee is 7 August 2020.
Find the committee’s call for evidence here.