Content Presented

Finances and Taxation Session

This Introductory Note for weekend 4  (Plain Text Version) provides an introduction to the topic of Scotland’s finances and taxation, a summary of the evidence to be presented and a summary of member comments on this topic across previous sessions.  

This factsheet Scotland’s Finances: Explanation of Terms and useful materials (Plain Text Version) explains some of the key terms that will come up in evidence relating to finances and taxation and provides a links to useful background material. 

Saturday morning: Overview of Scotland’s Finances
This session will involve two introductory presentations on Scotland’s finances (see slides below): 

Scotland’s Finances – where the money comes from, & where it goes  (Fraser McKinlay, Audit Scotland)

Taxation and Government spending in Scotland  (Professor David Bell CBE, University of Stirling)

Saturday afternoon:  Overview on Taxation 
This session will involve two introductory presentations on taxation
(see slides below): 

Tax : a primer (David Phillips, Institute for Fiscal Studies) 

Scotland’s Tax System (Charlotte Barbour, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) 

Charlotte will briefly mention the tax education gap.  

To aid member’s understanding, this factsheet on the Tax Education Gap (Plain Text Version), drawing on survey data, has been prepared to explain the gap in the public’s knowledge about tax and the importance of tax education.

Saturday afternoon:  Tax Choices
A panel of speakers will present a range of tax choices to create a sustainable society:  
Delivering environmental, economic and social impacts through tax? (Russell Gunson, Institute of Public Policy Research Scotland)

Taxes to change behaviour and support public policy objectives (Laurie MacFarlane, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College of London)

The Goldilocks Principle: A principled approach to tax by business (Ewan MacDonald-Russell, Scottish Retail Consortium) 

Politicians’ Panel 
On Sunday, members will discuss the politician’s panel scheduled to take place in Weekend 5.  To help members prepare for this session, this factsheet, Member views on Political Panel (Plain Text Version), has been prepared, which summarises member discussions on the political panel during Weekend 3 including key themes arising from the panel and comments about the panel itself. 

Background Materials

The Introductory note above outlines a full list of background materials however the key links are outlined below: 
Scottish Government:  Scotland's finances 2019-2020: key facts and figures   
Scottish Parliament Video:  Where does Scotland get its money from? 
Audit Scotland: Overview of the journey of financial devolution in Scotland. 
Citizens’ Assembly Factsheet, prepared by Professor Nicola McEwen: What Powers does the Scottish Parliament have?
Scottish Government:  Draft Budget 2020-2021 (Published by the Government and presented to Parliament on 6 February 2020)