Draft Scottish Budget 2013 - 14
In a response to the Finance Committee on its scrutiny of the forthcoming Draft Budget 2013 - 14, the RSE urges the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament to reconsider the founding principles of the budget-setting process in Scotland, making it fit for purpose in a time of tightening public expenditure.
It is increasingly important that budget decisions are taken within a strategic long-term context, with spending linked to outcomes in a transparent and consistent way. The creation of a Treasury function within the Scottish Government would allow for an objective and full cost-benefit analysis and opportunity cost analysis of policy options, in order that priorities can be set and difficult choices made.
Improved reporting by the Scottish Government on the impact of its spending decisions, including transparency on spending announcements and changes made throughout the year, is needed if the Scottish Parliament is to take a significantly enhanced role in assessing and approving the Draft Budget and holding the Government to account for its spending.