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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-09075: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 28 April 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had in relation to which international credit rating would be assigned to Scottish debt issued by it or on its behalf.

Answered by: Derek Mackay 11 May 2017

Scottish Government has had the power to issue debt since 1 April 2015 when the Scotland Act 1998 (Variation of Borrowing Power) Order 2015, approved by the UK Parliament in March 2015, gave Scottish Ministers the power to borrow through the issue of bonds, extending the arrangements set out in Scotland Act 2012.

This increases the range of options available and the Scottish Government will evaluate these and will in due course take a responsible decision on which method or methods to use based on the prevailing economic conditions.

The Scottish Government has made no approaches to international credit rating agencies to seek an international credit rating, which is advisable before the issue of bonds. However, meetings between officials and the ratings agencies and advisors to discuss general borrowing, bond issuance and credit rating advice have taken place over the last 3 years.