Who We Are

The  Scottish Fiscal Commission comprises four Commissioners. Commissioners have executive responsibility for core functions, including the judgements reached in its forecasts and abide by a Code of Conduct.

Chair - Dame Susan Rice DBE

Chair - Dame Susan Rice DBE

Susan Rice DBE, a Chartered Banker, is inter alia Chairman of Scottish Water, President of the Scottish Council of Development and Industry, non-executive director of J Sainsbury, the Banking Standards Board, and a lay member of Court of Edinburgh University. Before that, she was senior Vice President at NatWest Bancorp in New York and, earlier, a dean at Yale and Colgate Universities in America and a published medical researcher. She has been senior independent director and chaired the Remuneration Committee of FTSE 30 Previously, she was Chairman and Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc, the first woman to head a UK clearing bank, and Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group.

Professor Alasdair Smith

Professor Alasdair Smith

Alasdair Smith has been an inquiry chair at the Competition and Markets Authority since 2014, having been a Deputy Chair of the Competition Commission since 2012. Alasdair was previously Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and was Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1998 to 2007. He has been a member of pay review bodies covering the prison service, doctors and dentists, armed forces (chair), and senior salaries. He is currently a member of the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator.

Professor David Ulph CBE FRSE

Professor David Ulph CBE FRSE

David Ulph has been Professor of Economics at the University of St Andrews since 2006, and was Director of the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) from 2010-2017.   His research covers a wide range of issues relating to public policy, including the design and performance of taxes and benefits.   From 2001-2006 he was Chief Economist and Director of Analysis at HM Revenue and Customs (initially Inland Revenue) where, amongst other things, he was personally accountable for the forecasts of all UK tax revenues, and the measurement of UK National Income.  From 2015 he has been a member of the NHS Pay Review Body.  In 2017 he was appointed as a member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Professor Francis Breedon

Professor Francis Breedon

Francis Breedon is Professor of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary University of London where his research focuses mainly on financial markets and macro-economic policy. He has broad economic policy and forecasting experience including as a senior economist at the Bank of England. He has been involved in a number of policy reviews and is currently a member of the Fiscal Policy Panel for the States of Jersey.


Governance Board 

The Commissioners are also responsible for the corporate governance of the Commission through a Governance Board.  The Board is responsible for the leadership and direction of the Commission and for ensuring it achieves the strategic objectives set out in the Corporate Plan. 

 We publish the minutes for all board meetings.  

The way in which the Board works is set out in our Corporate Governance documents.


Commissioners are supported in their work by the Commission's permanent staff of civil servants, led by John Ireland, Chief Executive. The staff come from a range of backgrounds in the public and private sectors and academia with experience in statistics, economics, business analysis and actuarial sciences. Vacancies are advertised here.


Senior Management Team

John Ireland - Chief Executive
John joined the Commission  as its chief executive in May 2017. Before he became a civil servant John was Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, producing applied economic research for the public sector and economic commentary on Scotland. John holds a MPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford and a BSc(econ) from LSE. He has been a member of the ESRC Methods and Infrastructure Committee, Strategic Research Board and Impact Sub-Group. He was a Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge's Centre for Science and Policy between 2015 and 2017. 

David Stone - Head of Economy, Income Tax and VAT
David heads up the team producing forecasts of the economy, income tax and VAT. David has a decade of experience in tax and forecasting, working in government departments across the UK including HMRC, DECC & BIS (now BEIS) and the Scottish Government, before joining the Commission in early 2017. David has a Masters in Economics from the University of Edinburgh with a year spent studying abroad at UC San Diego.  

Claire Murdoch - Head of Devolved Taxes and Social Security
Claire is responsible for our forecasts of fully devolved tax receipts and social security expenditure, this includes Non-Domestic Rates, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Scottish Landfill Tax as well as the new social security benefits being devolved to Scotland and the Scottish Government's borrowing powers. She joined the Commission in 2016 as part of the team establishing the analytical and corporate service functions. Prior to this she worked as an economist in the Scottish Government. Claire holds a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Economics and Politics from Freiburg University in Germany.

Susie Warden - Head of Strategy, Governance & Corporate Services
Susie leads the corporate team, responsible for everything and anything that isn't forecasting: corporate services, communications, governance and strategy.  She has 17 years' experience in the civil service spanning policies as diverse as climate change, children's rights and criminal justice.  She led the work to create Food Standards Scotland, supported the establishment of EventScotland and was most recently the Head of Public Bodies Unit in the Scottish Government. Susie has an Economics degree from Cambridge University.

Previous Commissioners

David Wilson was a Commissioner from March 2017 to July 2018.  

Previous Commissioners on the Non-Statutory Commission

Professor Charles Nolan was a Commissioner from July 2016 to March 2017 

Professor Campbell Leith was a Commissioner from June 2014 to March 2017 

Professor Andrew Hughes Hallet was a Commissioner from June 2014 to July 2016