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Scottish Economy

Our general election series gets underway following last week’s announcements

And we’re off! The Prime Minister has fired the starting gun on the UK General Election campaign on Wednesday, and we’re all heading to the polls on 4th July. The precise reasons for the PM deciding to go to the country now, rather than in the Autumn, are the subject of speculation. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that this was sparked the relatively good economic news of the past couple of weeks, coupled with the danger that the second half of the year could be more difficult, including the diminishing prospect of any fiscal wiggle room to offer pre-election tax cuts.

This followed an inflation data release on Wednesday morning, which showed that the Consumer Price Index had fallen to 2.3%, very close to the Bank of England’s target. While this fall was welcomed, it was slightly smaller than had been expected, and the still high services inflation reduced the prospect that there were likely to be rate cuts in June (or maybe even August).

As the election campaign kicked off, so has our election-related analysis. Supported by the Nuffield Foundation as part of their general election briefing series, we will be carrying out a series of analyses to examine how the manifestos and announcements are relevant for Scotland. We’ll be setting out where announcements are actually about England, and what the fiscal consequences may be for the Scottish Budget.

The need for this analysis has been underlined by many of the discussions from the two main party leaders in the campaign thus far (and indeed, in the run-up to the campaign). Many of the policy announcements to date include measures in education, health, and policing, which will not directly impact Scotland, although of course investment in these areas could result in Barnett consequentials and more funding for devolved government.

This series will comprise webinars, podcasts, topical briefings and regular blogs. You can see everything we will put on here, and sign up for our mailing list to get notifications about all of our election-related content.

Authors

Mairi is the Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. Previously, she was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Head of National Accounts at the Scottish Government and has over a decade of experience working in different areas of statistics and analysis.

João is Deputy Director and Senior Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute. Previously, he was a Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Office for Budget Responsibility, where he led on analysis of long-term sustainability of the UK's public finances and on the effect of economic developments and fiscal policy on the UK's medium-term outlook.

Hannah is an Associate at the Fraser of Allander Institute. She specialises in applied social policy analysis with a focus on income, poverty, and inequality.

Emma Congreve is a Principal Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Deputy Director at the Fraser of Allander Institute. Emma's work at the Institute is focussed on policy analysis, covering a wide range of areas of social and economic policy.  Emma is an experienced economist and has previously held roles as a senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and as an economic adviser within the Scottish Government.