Just as important as the UK Autumn Budget (22 November 2017) is the date for the Draft Scottish Budget.
In a letter dated 20 September 2017 to the Finance and Constitution Committee, cabinet secretary for finance and the constitution Derek Mackay confirmed that this will be presented on 14 December 2017. In the letter, Mr Mackay agreed with the Budget Process Review Group’s recommendation that presentation before the UK Budget would be ‘counter-productive’ as a result of the level of economic uncertainty.
Why is this Draft Budget important? Mr Mackay’s speech at the Scottish National Party’s conference indicated that he would make more use of Scotland’s income tax powers from tax year 2018-19. This signals, perhaps, that there will be more rates and bands for UK reward and software professionals to contend with for Scottish taxpayers next year.
However, 14 December 2017 is only the start of the Scottish Budget ‘scrutiny’. This is a process through which the Draft Budget becomes the Budget (Scotland) Act and the proposed timetable is as follows:
|14 December 2017||Publication of Draft Budget|
|14 December 2017||
Publication of associated documents:
|14 December 2017||Publication of Level 4 budgets (on devolved issues)|
|15 December 2017 to 25 January 2018||Parliamentary Scrutiny|
|25 January 2018||Budget Bill Introduced|
|w/c 29 January 2018||Budget Bill Stage 1|
|07 February 2018||Budget Bill stage 2|
|w/c 19 February 2018||Budget Bill stage 3|
The all-important Scottish Rate Resolution for the 2017-18 tax year did not get agreed until 21 February 2017. This was between stages 2 and 3. It does not look as though the timescale will be much different for professionals next year.