Background: About the Scottish Fiscal Commission
The Scottish Fiscal Commission was established by Scottish Ministers in June 2014 as an independent non-statutory commission to scrutinise and report publicly on fiscal forecasts prepared by the Scottish Government. There are currently three Commissioners: Lady Susan Rice (Chair), Professor Campbell Leith and Professor Charles Nolan.
Subsequently the Scottish Fiscal Commission Act 2016 placed the Commission on a statutory footing as a Non-Ministerial Department within the Scottish Administration, with primary accountability to the Scottish Parliament. Lady Rice and Professor Leith, along with a further two board members currently being recruited, will form the first board of the statutory Commission and be directly answerable to Parliament for the forecasts produced by the Commission.
The Scottish Fiscal Commission Act also expanded the remit of the Commission so that it will be required to prepare forecasts of devolved taxes as defined in the Scotland Act 2012. It is also expected to prepare forecasts for tax and spending functions devolved through the Scotland Act 2016. The Commission will therefore produce forecasts of revenue to be generated from all fully devolved taxes, including Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, Air Passenger Duty and Scottish Landfill Tax; income from Scottish Income Tax and Non-Domestic Rates; and Scottish Onshore Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Commission will in future also assume responsibility for forecasts of spending on some demand-led social security benefits in Scotland.
These forecasts will have a direct bearing on the Scottish Government’s budget, and on borrowing arrangements, and thus on the resources available to support devolved public services in Scotland. The Scottish Fiscal Commission’s role in preparing these forecasts is therefore very important.
The Commission is expected to become a Non-Ministerial Department on 1 April 2017. In advance of that, work has begun to enable the Commission to make the transition to its new statutory status and to take on its additional responsibilities. An interim Chief Executive is currently leading the organisation, through the transition to statutory status with new responsibilities and the early period of delivery. There are significant challenges in transitioning the Commission from its current non-statutory status and remit to a Non-Ministerial Department able to deliver its expanded forecasting remit by 1 April 2017.
The Commission is currently located at Governor’s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, with use of offices at the University of Glasgow. The post-holder will work from Governor’s House in the interim; the location of the statutory Commission will be determined by the Commission during the transition period and is expected to remain in central Scotland.
Reports, Publications and Correspondence can be found here.