Budget date signals Scottish Fiscal Commission’s first forecasts

The Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC) will produce its first official, independent forecasts on December 14 to accompany publication of the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2018-19.

Agreed by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and the Scottish Parliament, the December Draft Budget publication date follows three weeks after the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Budget.

In April of this year the Commission took over responsibility for producing Scotland’s official fiscal forecasts based on Government policy.

In preparation for its forecasting debut the SFC recently published a paper on its intended approach to forecasting. The Commission will be forecasting the Scottish economy, receipts from currently devolved taxes and expenditure on devolved social security expenditure.

SFC chair Lady Susan Rice is clear that economic and fiscal forecasting is a dynamic practice.

Lady Rice said: “We learn by looking back in the light of economic developments, new data and other factors. These help us judge what worked well in previous forecasts, what didn’t, and what adjustments are needed to improve accuracy.

Good forecasts will help our Parliamentary representatives to plan wisely for the future and we will do our best for them through this Budget cycle.”