Wednesday’s Spending Review will influence the size of the Scottish budget in 2020/21. But it is just one piece of the jigsaw – with the other pieces not becoming available until later in the year.
In normal times, the publication of a UK Government Spending Review would be a major moment in the political and public finance annual calendar. This week’s Spending Review however will be overshadowed by the ongoing mess that is the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
But the Spending Review is important, and it will set out departmental spending limits for 2020/21 in key areas of the NHS, education, defence and other public services. However, the government’s previous aspirations to deliver a multi-year spending review have been jettisoned given ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.
The Spending Review will of course also have important implications for next year’s Scottish budget which Derek Mackay will present to parliament later on this autumn – most likely in December. The setting of departmental spending limits for UK departments will determine the size of the Scottish block grant.Continue reading