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The next Budget will also contain the Government’s Medium Term Financial Strategy, which is designed to offer a “means of focussing on the longer-term sustainability of Scotland’s public finances”.

The announcement of the impending 2022-23 Scottish Budget came just hours after official figures revealed Scotland’s economic output remains 2.4% lower than pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. The country’s onshore Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was also down 0.2% in July.

The 2022-23 Scottish Budget is likely to be focused on facilitating the Government’s new programme, tackling the challenges and inequalities caused to households and small businesses as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. A crisis that Ms Forbes said has “changed how we live”.

“The consequences of Covid-19 continue to impact howe we live, how our communities interact with each other and how our businesses operate,” said Ms Forbes.

“Covid-19 has also brought significant pressures for our public finances, with billions of pounds invested in public health measures, individual support and lifeline financial assistance for thousands of businesses.

“The 2022-23 Scottish Budget will be delivered against these considerable financial challenges, as we continue to prioritise investment in the services, infrastructure and support measures that help build a fairer, greener, more progressive Scotland.

“As always, the Scottish Budget will be informed by voices across Scotland, from the private, public and third sector, to ensure we continue to promote wellbeing, deliver our climate change and net zero ambitions, and get on with the task of transforming our economy to the benefit of all.”

Ms Forbes is also keen to “ensure Scotland’s interests are listened to” within the UK Government’s Autumn Budget which is scheduled for 27th October. Chancellor Rishi Sunak will deliver his third Budget alongside the outcomes of the 2021 Spending Review.

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Date published 27 Sep 2021

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