Scottish budget postponed because of election

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Image caption,
Derek Mackay will now set out his plans sometime after Christmas

The Scottish government has confirmed its budget for next year will now not be published until after Christmas.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay had been due to outline his annual spending and taxation plans on 12 December - the same day as the general election.

Mr Mackay said a new date would be agreed with the Scottish Parliament's finance committee as soon as possible.

But he said it should not happen until after the UK government unveiled its own budget.

UK Chancellor Sajid Javid cancelled his budget, which was to have been held on 6 November, because Prime Minister Boris Johnson was pushing for a general election.

Mr Mackay said this meant the Scottish government did not yet know the final details of any Barnett consequentials from UK spending, or the impact of UK tax decisions.

He said: "It would also be better to consider any new UK government tax policy announcements and the Office for Budget Responsibility R's new tax, social security and economic forecasts before a new Scottish Budget is brought forward.

"For these reasons, I have proposed that the Scottish Budget is not published until after Christmas, and I will work with the committee to agree a new budget date as soon as possible.

"A post-Christmas Scottish budget will mean a shortened overall timescale in which to deliver and approve the budget, and this will require flexibility on the part of the Parliament, the Scottish government and the Scottish Fiscal Commission."