Technical Report

Scotland's Fiscal Future in the UK


Bell D & Eiser D (2014) Scotland's Fiscal Future in the UK.

This paper looks in detail at the proposals for further fiscal devolution to the Scottish Parliament following the No vote in September’s independence referendum. The proposals vary significantly in terms of the taxes proposed for devolution and the balance between welfare spending devolution and maintenance of UK-wide social welfare union, but all envisage Scotland evolving into a semi-autonomous state within a more federal UK. Drawing on theories of fiscal federalism and empirical evidence from comparator countries, the paper considers the economic and constitutional constraints (including strategic tax competition, block grant allocation, and institutional factors) that may influence how effectively the Scottish Parliament will be able to exercise devolved tax powers. The paper considers the extent to which the models of fiscal autonomy proposed will mitigate future secession demands.

Scotland; fiscal devolution; independence; fiscal federalism; fiscal decentralisation

Publication date30/09/2014
Publication date online09/2014
Publisher URL…scal-future2.pdf