Tax policy and the Budget - a framework for tax

Closed 26 Oct 2021

Opened 31 Aug 2021

Feedback updated 25 Oct 2022

We asked

We asked for your views on the draft Framework for Tax, specifically we asked for responses to consider new areas that could be included or suggested alterations to existing elements of the Framework as well as more general reflections.

Your views were also sought on how our tax powers should be used in the Scottish Budget for 2022-23 and for the duration of the current Scottish Parliament (2021-2026).

You said

We received a total of 47 responses to the public consultation, with 22 individuals and 25 organisations responding.

The Framework for Tax received positive feedback from a wide range of respondents. The Framework was particularly welcomed for its accessibility, commitment to engagement and its contribution to improving the transparency of Scottish tax policy.

Responses outlined a strong appetite to make the most of existing powers, and to ensure a solid foundation is in place for good practice in tax policy making. Links between different levels of government remain important, with respondents highlighting the need to ensure that the responsibilities of local authorities and the Scottish and UK Governments, as well as fiscal cycles, are clearly articulated.

Respondents expressed a mix of views on how the Scottish Government should use its tax powers moving forward. Some respondents called for stability while we  recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and an alignment with UK tax rates. Whereas other respondents called for a more progressive approach to tax, in particular in relation to Income Tax and Council Tax rates.

Additionally, using tax policy to help achieve Net Zero commitments, having a phased approach to increasing Non-Domestic Rates back to pre-pandemic levels, and having a simple, transparent, and easy to use tax system were other key themes in the consultation responses. View the consultation analysis report in full.

We did

All of the responses, alongside other evidence, were considered in relation to the draft Framework for Tax and Scottish Budget.

The Scottish Budget for 2022-23 was announced on Thursday 9 December. Read our proposed tax policy measures in the Scottish Budget. You may also wish to read the Scottish Budget 2022-23 document.

The final version of the Framework for Tax was published on Thursday 16 December.

Consultation responses were constructive and provided carefully considered, expert feedback, meaningfully improving the published version of Scotland’s first Framework for Tax.

Two substantive changes include adding a description of the different bodies involved in the development and delivery of tax policy and a reframing of one of Scotland’s tax principles to focus on ‘effectiveness’ enhancing our commitment to tackling tax avoidance activity by designing taxes that minimise opportunities for such activity.

Published responses

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


Building on 2020’s Scottish Budget consultation exercise, the Scottish Government has been exploring ways to enhance its approach to tax policy making at the beginning of this new session of the Scottish Parliament.

This consultation seeks views on our overarching approach to tax policy, through Scotland’s first Framework for Tax, and how the Scottish Government should use its devolved and local tax powers as part of the Scottish Budget 2022-23. This is considered to be a crucial time to seek wide-ranging views on how we can best deploy our devolved and local tax powers to support the ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19.

It is envisaged that the Framework for Tax will underpin and support the development of tax policy in Scotland, creating greater transparency and coherency, as well as improving sequencing and to ensure a forward thinking approach is adopted.

Why your views matter

As Scotland's economy continues its recovery from the impact of COVID-19 your views on our tax system, which plays a crucial role in the funding of the country's public services, are important to us as we make decisions ahead of the 2022-23 Scottish Budget.

While the short-term view of tax policy is pivotal, the Scottish Government also understands the importance of looking further ahead in relation to tax policy making. This is why we are inviting views on tax priorities for the duration of the current Parliament (2021-26) and our first Framework for Tax.

It also sets our commitment to open government and transparency in communicating our approach to tax policy, and we therefore want to ensure that the finalised Framework is informed by the people, businesses, and organisations of Scotland.

Your views will help to inform the decisions we take on tax policy at the upcoming Scottish Budget and beyond.

Read the consultation paper.

What happens next

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence in relation to both the draft Framework for Tax and the Scottish Budget for 2022-23.

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 policy development in relation to the Scottish Budget 2022-23, and longer term for the duration of the current Parliament, with final tax policy decisions being set out within the Scottish Budget documentation.

It is anticipated that the final Framework for Tax will be published alongside the Budget announcement.


  • Economy