Is Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK?

In recent weeks, there has been considerable debate over the government’s decision to freeze the income tax threshold at which taxpayers start to pay the 40% higher rate in Scotland.

This has led the Conservatives to argue that Scotland is now the highest taxed part of the UK.

This blog discusses some of the key issues underpinning this argument and some important questions around interpretation.

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The NDRI pool…

As the Scottish Budget for 2017/18 has passed through Parliament, the operation of the Non-Domestic Rates pool has risen to prominence. It has provided the Cabinet Secretary for Finance with flexibility to support local government spending and ease the burden of the revaluation to business rates.

So how does the NDRI pool work and what could be the implications over the medium term in the light of the additional cash taken from it to get the budget passed this year? Continue reading “The NDRI pool…”

Estimating Scotland’s fiscal position


Graeme Roy
Director, Fraser of Allander Institute


There has been a lot of debate in recent days about the statistics covering Scotland’s fiscal position i.e. Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS).

Some of this has focussed upon how GERS is produced and who produces it – this blog attempts to clear some of that up.

Continue reading “Estimating Scotland’s fiscal position”

Seven bullet points on the latest Fraser Commentary

Today we published our latest Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary.

This short blog summarises our key conclusions in seven bullet points.

  1. Growth in Scotland’s economy is forecast to continue through 2017, 2018 and into 2019. The outlook remains challenging by historical standards.

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Budget 2017: a boring budget?

What a difference a year makes.

Delivering his Budget in March 2016, then Chancellor George Osborne set out plans to deliver a fiscal surplus – revenues higher than spending – by 2019/20. Growth was forecast to be 2.2% in 2017.

By the time of the Autumn Statement in November, the forecast for growth in 2017 had been cut to 1.4%. The forecast for public sector net borrowing over the course of this parliament had been revised up by £100bn, largely (but not entirely) due to the anticipated impacts of Brexit on the economy and public finances. Any hope of a budget surplus had long been extinguished.

Was today’s Budget able to offer good news? And what are the implications for the Scottish Government’s Budget? Continue reading “Budget 2017: a boring budget?”