What we forecast

We produce independent forecasts on devolved tax revenues and social security expenditure to help determine the Scottish Government's budget


What we currently forecast

Income tax powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament covers all non-savings non-dividend (NSND) income from Scottish taxpayers.

NSND income tax forecast – December 2018

£ million 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
  10,719 11,008 11,452 11,684 12,285 12,746 13,242 13,805


LBTT is paid on the purchase of property and land, it was introduced in April 2015. The two components of LBTT are residential and non-residential (commercial) property.

Residential LBTT includes the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS). This is payable on additional residential properties such as second homes or buy-to-let properties.

LBTT forecast - December 2018

£ million 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
Residential 258 267 296 324 349 373 398
ADS 95 94 122 123 127 130 134
Non-residential 204 208 226 233 240 247 255

Read more on residential or non-residential LBTT.

Non Domestic Rates (also called Business Rates) are paid by the owner, tenant or occupier of non-domestic properties.   

Non-domestic rates forecast – December 2018  

 £ million 2017-18  2018-19   2019-20 2020-21  2021-22  2022-23   2023-24
   2,762 2,827 2,785 2,887 3,087 3,295  3,332

Read more…

The Scotland Act 2016 devolved Air Passenger Duty (APD) to the Scottish Parliament; this is a tax paid on passengers flying from Scotland.

Scottish APD forecast – December 2018

 £ million 2017-18  2018-19   2019-20 2020-21  2021-22   2022-23 2023-24 
   277  302  312  322  336  349  364

Read more…

Scottish Landfill Tax is the tax paid on the disposal of waste to landfill which was introduced from April 2015.

Scottish Landfill Tax forecast – December 2018

 £ million



2018-19  2019-20   2020-21 2021-22 2022-23   2023-24
   148  136  104  83  13  13  14


We produced updated forecasts for the Scottish Economy in May 2018.

Onshore Scottish GDP (% change from previous year) forecast – December 2018

£ million 


2018  2019 2020  2021  2022   2023
   1.4  1.4  1.2  1.0  1.0  1.1  1.2



The Scotland Act 2016 devolved a number of social security benefits to Scotland. The transfer of powers to the Scottish Parliament has been completed for some benefits and is underway for others. Based on this process, we are forecasting expenditure on the following areas: 

You can find out here how our Social Security forecasts support Scotland's Budget process

Regulations have been introduced in the Scottish Parliament to expand the remit of the Commission to include VAT forecasting to support VAT assignment.

We produced a VAT forecast in our December 2018 Scotland's Economic and Fiscal Forecasts report.



What we will forecast in the future

Aggregates Levy is the tax paid on the commercial exploitation of rock, sand and gravel.

Aggregates Levy will be devolved once current State Aid and other outstanding legal issues have been resolved.


The Scotland Act 2016 devolved a number of social security benefits to Scotland. The transfer of powers for some of these benefits to the Scottish Parliament has yet to be agreed. Based on this process, in the future we will forecast:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Cold Weather Payment
  • Winter Fuel Payment

Furthermore, the Scottish Parliament will also have additional powers around social security, including to:

  • Vary the housing cost element of Universal Credit
  • Change the payment arrangements for Universal Credit
  • Top up reserved benefits
  • Create new benefits (other than pensions)



What we assess

The Commission is required to assess the reasonableness of the Scottish Government's projections of its borrowing. We fulfil this role by assessing any borrowing which Ministers can project in advance.

Our assessment of reasonableness will consider the level of borrowing relative to the statutory caps set out in the Scotland Act 2016 and the associated fiscal framework. Where appropriate, we will also consider how broader fiscal factors may affect the resources available to the Scottish Government. For example, we examine the payments into, and draw down of funds from, the Scotland Reserve. We will continue to review the scope of this assessment and our commentary on broader fiscal factors will expand in future publications whenever we consider there to be a public benefit.