So now we know: the UK Budget will be presented on 11 March, having been postponed from its original date of 6 November.
What are the implications for the Scottish budget?
It seems now inevitable that the Scottish budget will have to be published in some form before 11 March.
One option is to seek to finalise all elements of the budget before the UK budget. An alternative, (with the agreement of Parliament) would be to push some final elements of the legislative process back to the second half of March, potentially allowing for last minute adjustments.
Either scenario is undoubtedly sub-optimal for the Scottish Government, Parliament, and a range of other organisations, from local authorities to Revenue Scotland.
But the idea that the Scottish budget can be delayed in full until mid to late March seems unrealistic.
Publishing a Scottish budget before the UK budget does carry uncertainties and risks, however. But what options are open to the Scottish Government to try to mitigate these challenges?Continue reading