Scottish Fiscal Commission looks to the future

oday the Scottish Fiscal Commission publishes two reports. The first looks back at the Scottish Government’s Budget forecasts for 2016-17.  The second looks forward to the approach the Commission will take to producing its first independent forecasts later this year. The Forecast Evaluation Report compares what was raised from devolved taxes during 2016-17 with the Scottish Government’s predictions. The Commission will draw on the lessons learned from this assessment as it makes its first official forecasts later this year. The second report sets out the Commission’s intended approach to forecasting the economy, receipts from the devolved taxes, and expenditure on devolved social security expenditure. These forecasts will be used by the Scottish Government in their Draft Budget 2018-19 and will be published at the same time. The Commission’s chair Lady Susan Rice explained: “The future is always uncertain, but good forecasts are needed to help plan for the future. We learn by looking back in the light of economic developments, new data and other factors. This helps us judge what worked well, and what didn’t, in previous forecasts.

“Our forecasts are snapshots produced a couple of times a year, but the work to produce them goes on throughout the year. Testing the judgements used in previous years’ forecasts will inform the next round of our work.” said Lady Rice.