The Scottish Government’s draft budget 2013-14 will be published in September 2012.
In its Scottish Spending Review 2011 and Draft Budget 2012-13 (5.01MB pdf) the Scottish Government stated that—
“The decisions taken within this Budget have been shaped by the Scottish Government’s Purpose of creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth. Our budget supports job creation.”
The Finance Committee has agreed to focus its scrutiny of the draft budget 2013-14 on whether spending decisions align with the Scottish Government’s overarching Purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth.
As part of its focus on increasing sustainable economic growth, the Committee recently held a series of oral evidence sessions on the need to improve the employability of individuals experiencing high levels of multiple deprivation. The focus of the Committee’s scrutiny is how public spending is being directed to support this objective.
Given this background, the Committee would welcome your response to any or all of the following questions—
1. To what extent do you consider Scottish Government spending decisions align with its overarching Purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth and how should commitment to this objective be reflected in the draft budget 2013-14?
2. The Scottish Government states in its economic strategy that “The actions of the public sector are co-ordinated to maximise their economic impact.” What progress has been made in harnessing the public sector to support sustainable economic growth and how should this be reflected in the draft budget 2013-14?
3. The Scottish Government states that the aim of its economic strategy “is not only to offer greater protection to the economy during periods of economic uncertainty, but to bring about a long-term, or structural, change in Scotland’s sustainable growth rate”. What spending decisions support such structural change in the long term and what spending priorities should be in the draft budget 2013-14?
4. In its Scottish Spending Review 2011 and Draft Budget 2012-13 (5.01MB pdf) the Scottish Government states that the Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth portfolio “contributes towards ensuring that we achieve balanced economic growth that provides the most disadvantaged in society with the opportunity to prosper. Equity, whether it be social, regional or inter-generational or a combination of these factors, is also seen as a key driver of economic growth.” What progress has been made in achieving these objectives and what spending priorities should be in the draft budget 2013-14?
5. In its response to the Finance Committee’s report on the spending review 2011 the Scottish Government stated that “The National Performance Framework represents a common vision for the whole Scottish public sector and, as such, is fully integrated with our spending plans”. How does the NPF impact on the spending decisions of the Scottish public sector and how should this impact be reflected in the draft budget 2013-14?
6. In its response to the Finance Committee’s report on the spending review 2011 the Scottish Government stated that its broader work was “focused on ensuring that our ambitions for a decisive shift to preventative spend are realised across all areas of service delivery.” What progress is the Scottish Government making in realising this objective and what spending priorities should be in the draft budget 2013-14?
7. The Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group recently stated in evidence to the Finance Committee that “Quality, sustainable employment should be the outcome of all skills and employment measures.” What priorities should be in draft budget 2013-14 to realise this objective?
8. Small businesses represent 93% of the Scottish private sector and are more likely to employ people with low or no qualifications than large businesses. What spending priorities should be in the draft budget 2013-14 to support public-private partnership to improve the employability of and create sustainable employment opportunities for individuals experiencing high levels of multiple deprivation?
The closing date for responses has now passed.
Read the submissions received
 Scottish Parliament Finance Committee. Official Report, 16 May 2012, Col. 1183
 Scottish Corporate Sector Statistics 2011 (Federation of Small Businesses. Written submission)
 Small businesses in the UK: New Perspectives on Evidence and Policy (November 2008) (Federation of Small Businesses. Written submission)