SCOTLAND’S Finance Secretary is set to spell out the country’s budget for the 2024-2025 year amid concerns of a £1.5 billion shortfall.

Speculation, dismissed by Shona Robison, has suggested the Government could bring in a new tax band on annual earnings over £75,000 in a bid to make up the shortfall.

In a statement on Sunday, Robison – who also serves as Deputy First Minister – hit out at the level of funding available to Scotland, but said the Budget unveiled would seek to protect people and public services.

“In the face of a deeply challenging financial situation, this budget will reaffirm our social contract with the people of Scotland,” she said.

“The autumn statement was devastating for Scottish finances. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has acknowledged that it will lead to planned real-terms cuts in public service spending.”

When is the Scottish Budget?

Shona Robison will deliver the Scottish Budget on Tuesday, December 19.

According to the Holyrood parliamentary schedule, the chamber will begin sitting at 2pm.

Robison’s statement will come after the Time for Reflection, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, and any selected Topical Questions. It is unclear exactly how long these will take.

The Budget which will be published alongside Robison’s statement will then need to be approved by MSPs. For the last Budget, the approval did not come until February.

The National: Robison refused to confirm 'speculation' of a new higher tax band

How can you watch Shona Robison's Scottish Budget statement?

The statement will be broadcast live on the Scottish Parliament TV website. You'll be able to find the stream from the chamber here.

It is also likely to be shown on news channels such as the BBC and Sky.

What can we expect in the Scottish Budget?

On Monday, the Scottish Government was reported to be set to wipe some £1.7 million in children’s lunch debts off the books in the Budget.

Elsewhere, reports have said that First Minister Humza Yousaf is set to create a new tax bracket for higher earners in a bid to bring in more revenue.

Robison said: “We are unashamedly targeting resources at those most in need to support them through the cost of living crisis.

“We are providing funding to deliver the services that people rely on most, along with a ten-year programme of public service reform. And we are using all the powers we have to create a thriving economy while providing funding to achieve our ambitious net zero targets.”

For more, National columnist and former MP George Kerevan has an explainer on how the Scottish Budget works and why there is a £1.5bn shortfall. Read it here.