What We Do

The Scottish Fiscal Commission produces independent forecasts of Scotland's:

  • revenue from fully devolved taxes and Non-savings Non-dividend income tax receipts;
  • devolved social security expenditure;
  • Onshore Gross Domestic Product (GDP); and
  • reports on the Scottish Government's borrowing projections.

How we produce our forecasts

We gather data throughout the year from organisations involved in devolved taxes and social security payments in Scotland. When the Scottish Government begins to set out plans for its next year's Budget, it shares its proposed policies with us so that, using the data we've gathered, we can forecast how much the Government's proposed policies are likely to raise and cost. It means that on the day the Scottish Government publishes its proposed Budget we also publish a forecast allowing Parliamentarians to properly scrutinise the Budget's policy implications and go on to approve a final Budget ahead of the new financial year. We publish a second forecast half way through the year to co-incide with the Scottish Government's Medium-Term Financial Strategy.

How our work affects Scotland's Budget

The Scottish Government receives a Block Grant from the UK Government which is adjusted to take into account the revenues and expenditure now under Scotland's own control. The Block Grant Adjustments are initially based on forecasts. Once outturn data is available, any difference between the forecast figures and the outturn figures will be applied to Scotland's Block Grant. The exception is VAT, which relies on estimates of Scottish specific data from survey data, as Scottish VAT can't be identified separately without an unreasonable administrative burden on businesses.

Our Missions and Values

As Scotland's independent fiscal institution our mission is to produce independent, official forecasts. We base our values on those set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for Independent Fiscal Institutions. These require us to be independent; transparent; accessible and open and we set out how we fulfil these commitments in our corporate plan in our corporate governance section.

Working with others

The Commission works closely with the Office of Budget Responsibility, Revenue Scotland, Scottish Government, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and other bodies. Further information of this engagement is published in the how we work section.

We are one of a number of Independent Fiscal Institutions (IFIs) around the world and engage actively with this international community. We also participate in the OECD network of Independent Fiscal Institutions.