Examining recent trends in inactivity in Scotland’s labour market

David Eiser, FAI

One of the more concerning developments in Scotland’s labour market figures recently – and as discussed in detail in last month’s Labour Market Trends Report – has been the marked uptick in the rate of inactivity among those aged 16-64 (Chart 1).

Granted, the increase in the inactivity rate has only been slightly over one percentage point – equivalent to an increase of around 35,000 people – and the rate remains low in the context of the recent past. But what underlies the recent increase in inactivity, and to what extent should we be concerned by it?Continue reading

December 19, 2016

Local Government Settlement? So who is right? (Well both are!)

There has been much debate since yesterday’s Scottish Budget for 2017-18 about the settlement for local government and local services.

The Scottish Government have argued that there is more money for local services, whilst others – primarily the opposition and local government – argue that local government budgets are being cut.

So who is right? The answer is both and depends crucially on how you view the numbers.

Continue reading

December 16, 2016

Scottish Draft Budget 2017/18: initial response

Finance Secretary raises revenue to invest in public services

This was a revenue-raising budget to fund investment in public services, but one that kicks some of the more difficult spending decisions into future years.

Today’s Budget contained little in the way of new surprises beyond what had been widely trailed in advance.Continue reading

The outlook for capital borrowing in the Scottish Budget

Fraser of Allander Institute, December 2016

One of the central elements of this week’s Scottish Budget will be the outlook for capital spending and an update on the detailed list of infrastructure projects – in transport, housing, schools and hospitals – that the government will take forward over the next few years.

As we set out here, this has been boosted by the Chancellor’s announcement of around £800 million of additional resources for Scotland’s capital budget up to 2020-21 as a result of the measures in last month’s Autumn Statement.

But a major classification decision means that the Scottish Government’s new borrowing powers could – we expect – have effectively been used up this year and a significant amount of the limit for 2017-18 used up as well on dealing with this technical accounting adjustment.Continue reading

December 14, 2016