Opinion Former Article

UK Budget date leaves Scotland with little room for manoeuvre

Commenting on the tax implications for Scotland of an 11 March UK Budget date, Alexander Garden, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Scottish Technical Committee, said:

“A UK Budget on 11 March leaves MSPs with just a few days to react to changes made at Westminster and to agree what the rates and bands of Scottish Income Tax will be ahead of the start of the new tax year in April.

“This matters because if MSPs fail to reach agreement – a scenario that could be seen as highly plausible in a parliament of minorities – Scotland would revert to the UK rates and bands of tax set by Westminster, effectively foregoing its ability to set its own income tax rates1.

“There remains the chance that Derek Mackay could choose to go it alone and outline his plans before 11 March, but in this situation, he would be constrained by not knowing the true extent of Scotland’s fiscal picture.

“None of these scenarios are appealing and mean we are facing a Scottish budget process that will be conducted at breakneck speed, with little room for manoeuvre”.

ENDS

Notes for editors

 

1. This provision is made for in Section 80C (7) of the Scotland Act 1998 (link).

 

2. A picture of Alexander Garden can be downloaded via the following link.

 

3.  The Chartered Institute of Taxation

 

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT  has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.

 

The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved. We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries. The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.

 

The CIOT’s 19,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.

 

Contact: Chris Young, External Relations Manager, 07900 241 584 cyoung@ciot.org.uk

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