Derek Mackay, Scotland’s finance secretary has announced that the Scottish Government’s Budget will be published for 2020-21 on 6 February 2020. The date has been selected in order to allow the Scottish Government time to prepare for the new tax year.
This is the first time that Scotland has held a Budget before the rest of the UK. The delay in the UK Budget until 11 March had left the Scottish Government in a quandary and with no time to wait until after the UK Budget to deliver their Budget and have it approved before the start of the next tax year.
In fact, Mr Mackay unequivocally said:
'The UK Government’s approach to the Scottish Budget has been completely unacceptable and has shown a disregard for devolution and a lack of fiscal responsibility.
The timing of the UK Budget made it impossible for us to publish our own budget after the UK Government’s without drastically restricting the time for parliamentary scrutiny.
In these exceptional circumstances, created by the UK Government, it is vital we give local authorities and public services clarity on their budgets. That is why we have made the decision to publish our budget in February which will allow local authorities to set their budgets and council tax before the legal deadline of 11 March.'
The Scottish Parliament sets the Income Tax rates and bands for non-savings and non-dividend income in Scotland. Scottish taxpayers therefore, pay Income Tax at separate rates and bands to the rest of the UK on their non-savings and non-dividend income.