The final countdown: insights from Scottish businesses as the UK heads towards Brexit

With only 3 weeks to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, Scottish Businesses still don’t have any certainty over the terms of the exit, and crucially, if there will be any sort of transition to future arrangements.

Ahead of a series of votes in the House of Commons next week, we’ve been asking businesses in Scotland about Brexit and their preparations for it. We asked firms from across the country, and from a variety of different sectors.

The focus was not on whether businesses believe Brexit to be good or bad, but instead, how Brexit is affecting different areas of their day-to-day activities such as investment and recruitment. Also, we were interested to find out to what extent firms have embarked upon any plans in preparation for Brexit: specifically whether they are prepared for a no deal Brexit.

This blog summarises the results of our survey.

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March 7, 2019

The emerging outlook for Scottish income tax revenues

How have Scotland’s revenues from income tax been performing since income tax powers were transferred to the Scottish Parliament in April 2017?

This is clearly an important question to ask. The Scottish budget in any year is determined in part by the rate of growth of Scottish income tax revenues per capita since 2016/17 compared to the growth of equivalent income tax revenues per capita in the rest of the UK (rUK).

We are nearly at the end of the second year of Scottish income tax devolution. But official income tax revenue outturn figures for 2017/18 will not be published until this summer, whilst outturn figures for 2018/19 will not be available until summer 2020.

Whilst income tax revenue data is not yet available, HMRC has published some information on the number of taxpayers who pay tax through Pay as you Earn (PAYE), and the average income of those PAYE income taxpayers, in 2017/18 and the first two quarters of 2018/19.Continue reading

February 26, 2019

Regional growth in 2018 – what happened?

This blog presents research outputs from an Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence project.

ESCoE provides the Office for National Statistics with research that addresses the challenges of measuring the modern economy, as recommended by Professor Sir Charles Bean in his Independent Review of UK Economics Statistics.

This research was undertaken by Strathclyde researchers Gary Koop @gary_koop, Stuart McIntyre @stuartgmcintyre and Aubrey Poon, and Warwick Business School’s James Mitchell

The blog below was first posted here: https://www.escoe.ac.uk/regional-growth-in-2018-what-happened/  Continue reading

February 21, 2019

Will a ‘no deal’ Brexit wipe £11bn off Scotland’s economy in under a year?

Today the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist published analysis of the potential impact of a ‘no deal’ outcome on Scotland’s economy.

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One scenario presented projects that our economy could shrink by up to 7% (equivalent to around £11bn being wiped from our economy) in less than a year.

We’ve been asked by a number of people for our take, so we thought that it would be helpful to provide a quick summary here.

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Taxing contradictions: is Scotland the fairest taxed part of the UK?

Delivering his Draft Budget in December, Derek MacKay argued that Scotland was the ‘fairest taxed part of the UK’. As the dust settles on the 2019/20 Scottish Budget, it’s a good time to reflect on the Scottish Government’s approach to taxation, and to examine that claim.

Devolved tax policy in Scotland and the claim to fairness

Looking across each of the taxes controlled by Holyrood, the common thread underpinning policy decisions is the Scottish Government’s desire to make two claims.

First, that Scottish tax policy is more progressive than the equivalent policy in other parts of the UK. Second, that those with the lowest incomes, or living in the lowest value properties, pay relatively less tax in Scotland than they would do in rUK.Continue reading