Bypassing Barnett


David Eiser

Fraser of Allander Institute


As part of the agreement reached between the Conservatives and DUP, the UK Government has agreed to allocate an additional £1bn to the budget of the Northern Ireland Executive over the next two years. The funding includes £100m to support health service transformation, a further £50m for various ‘immediate’ pressures in health and education, £200m for infrastructure investment and £75m to support ultra-fast broadband. The agreement also includes renewed commitments to devolve Corporation Tax and establish City Deals.

Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones have both argued that the additional funding associated with this agreement should go through the Barnett Formula and generate consequentials for the Scottish and Welsh budgets.

Is this a legitimate argument? Continue reading “Bypassing Barnett”

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.

  Continue reading “Is Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK?”

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…”