Resource Spending Review Framework

Closed 27 Mar 2022

Opened 9 Dec 2021

Feedback updated 14 Jun 2022

We asked

To inform the development of the Scottish Government’s Resource Spending Review, a consultation was launched on 9 December 2021. The associated paper, Investing in Scotland’s Future: Resource Spending Review Framework, invited stakeholders to provide views on the future of Scotland’s public finances.  The public consultation asked six questions covering: 

  • the Government’s suggested priorities for the Resource Spending Review;   

  • the drivers of public spending;  

  • opportunities to maximise the impact of the public sector workforce;   

  • opportunities to achieve the best value for citizens from limited funds;   

  • equalities and human rights impacts; and   

  • future public engagement around Scotland’s public finances.    

You said

You provided us with 72 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 57 organisations and 15 individuals. 

In summary, respondents said: 

  1. Respondents generally agreed with the priorities outlined in the Framework, whilst some also made suggestions for additional priorities or specific focuses within the priorities. 

  2. Some respondents agreed with the drivers of public spending listed in the review RSR framework while many respondents recommended the inclusion of other drivers of public spending, with an emphasis on climate adaptation and mitigation. 

  3. Respondents’ suggestions on how policy interventions can be used to maximise the value achieved from the public sector workforce spanned several aspects with most suggestions focused on investment and financing, the third sector, workforce remuneration, recruitment, retention, training and development.  

  4. Some respondents broadly agreed with all the proposed approaches aiming to maximise the positive impact of Scotland’s public spending, while more respondents suggested further approaches centred around policy decisions, administrative actions, financial steps, and issues relating to mental health, and technology, among other aspects. 

  5. Several respondents supported the decision to conduct an equality assessment of the Spending Review's findings and provided their views on equality and human rights impacts centred around spending, including on mental health, gender equality, alcohol use, science and education, among other aspects. 

  6. Views on how best to continue the engagement featured recurring themes including improving the timing for consultations, including lived experiences in decision making, and the need for diversity of views and deeper levels of engagement.  


We did

The information gathered through our online consultation was analysed alongside the output from a programme of external engagement. This analysis was collated into a report, which was published alongside the Resource Spending Review on 31 May 2022. Where permission was granted, responses to our consultation have been published.

The responses to the consultation have informed the outcomes of the Resource Spending Review and development of the plans detailed within that publication. In addition to this, the responses will be used to inform the next steps and reform options outlined in the Resource Spending Review.  The full Resource Spending Review can be found here: Resource Spending Review and supporting documents

The findings of the consultation will also be used to inform the work the Scottish Government, especially Director General Scottish Exchequer, is taking forward to improve transparency and participation in public finances (including in relation to our Open Government Action Plan). This information provided in responses to this consultation will be used to improve our public engagement for future budgets and spending reviews. 

We would like to thank all of those who took the time to respond to our consultation and / or participated in our programme of engagement. 

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


On 9 December 2021, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy launched the Scottish Government’s first multi-year Resource Spending Review since 2011The aim of this Resource Spending Review is to set out spending plans for the remainder of the parliamentary term which support the Scottish Government’s ambitions. Our review focuses on resource spending plans. Resource spending is money that is spent on administration and the day-to-day delivery of services and programmes, such as school meals, concessionary bus passes and most public sector staff salaries 

The Resource Spending Review Framework sets the scene for the development of these spending plans and opens our public consultation.

The intention is to publish multi-year spending plans in May 2022 to provide stakeholders, delivery partners and organisations and individuals across Scotland with some certainty on which to base their own forward planning 

The Resource Spending Review will build on the Capital Spending Review that we published earlier this year. Together these two spending reviews will give a comprehensive picture of Scotland’s public spending multi-year plans.  

It also sits within a wider fiscal landscape of devolved taxes and spending that together play an integral role in the funding of the public services we all rely on. Notably, the forthcoming publication of Scotland’s first Framework for Tax will provide a solid foundation from which the design and delivery of devolved tax policy can be based - supporting the recovery, national outcomes and the pursuit of a fairer, greener and more prosperous Scotland for everyone. 

The Resource Spending Review Framework has been produced as part of a suite of public spending publications, including the 2022-23 Scottish Budget, 2021 Medium-Term Financial Strategy and our Public Sector Pay Policy 2022-23. 

Read the consultation paper 

Why your views matter

The Framework begins a national conversation about our mission to deliver effective services for the people of Scotland today and maintain sustainable public finances that ensure we can meet the needs of future generations too. It is vital that we understand and reflect opinions of the people public services exist for, and the experience of those who help us deliver them.This is a real opportunity for stakeholders to influence the future of Scotland’s spending priorities and to ensure that the Scottish Government delivers for the people of Scotland.  

What happens next

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered as part of the Resource Spending Review process.

The Scottish Government will publish responses, where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and an analysis report will also be made available. 

Responses to the consultation will inform public spending policy development in relation to the Resource Spending Review, and longer term for the duration of the current Parliament.

It is intended that the Resource Spending Review will be published in May 2022.


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