The Budget Bill is how the Parliament agrees public spending in Scotland. A Budget Bill is introduced to the Parliament every year. It follows a slightly different process to other Bills.
This budget is for the financial year 2021-22. The total budget for public spending is £46.5 billion. In the Bill as introduced, this figure includes:
- £17 billion for health and sport
- £11.7 billion for communities and local government
- £4.8 billion for education and skills
- £4 billion for social security
- £4 billion for transport, infrastructure and connectivity
- £2.9 billion for justice
This is the 5th Budget Bill for Session 5 of the Scottish Parliament.
Why the Bill was created
The Scottish Parliament must approve public spending in Scotland for each financial year. It does this by passing the Budget Bill.
Where do laws come from?
The Scottish Parliament can make decisions about many things like:
- agriculture and fisheries
- education and training
- health and social services
- justice and policing
- local government
- some aspects of tax and social security
These are 'devolved matters'.
Laws that are decided by the Scottish Parliament come from:
MSPs – this is a Members' Bill
groups of MSPs called committees – this is a Committee Bill
a person, a group or a company – this is a Private Bill
These are Bills that have been introduced by the Scottish Government. They are sometimes called 'Executive Bills'.
Most of the laws that the Scottish Parliament looks at are Government Bills.
These Bills are suggested by the Scottish Government.
As well as having an impact on a general (public) law, they could also have an impact on organisations' or the public's private interests.
The first Hybrid Bill was the Forth Crossing Bill.
These are Bills suggested by MSPs. Every MSP can try to get two laws passed in the time between elections. This 5-year period is called a 'Parliamentary session'.
To do this they need other MSPs from different political parties to support their proposed law.
These are Bills suggested by a group of MSPs called a committee.
These are Public Bills because they will change general law.
These are Bills suggested by a person, group or company. They usually:
- add to an existing law
- change an existing law
A committee would be created to work on a Private Bill.
The Scottish Government sends the Bill and related documents to the Parliament.
Related information from the Scottish Government on the Bill
Opinions on whether the Parliament has the power to make the law (Statements on Legislative Competence)
Information on the powers the Bill gives the Scottish Government and others (Delegated Powers Memorandum)
Stage 1 - General principles
Committees examine the Bill. Then MSPs vote on whether it should continue to Stage 2.
Who examined the Bill
Each Bill is examined by a 'lead committee'. This is the committee that has the subject of the Bill in its remit.
It looks at everything to do with the Bill.
Other committees may look at certain parts of the Bill if it covers subjects they deal with.
What is secondary legislation?
Secondary legislation is sometimes called 'subordinate' or 'delegated' legislation. It can be used to:
- bring a section or sections of a law that’s already been passed, into force
- give details of how a law will be applied
- make changes to the law without a new Act having to be passed
An Act is a Bill that’s been approved by Parliament and given Royal Assent (formally approved).