Scottish Budget 2022-23 – explore the budget

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This blog allows you to explore the data in Scottish Budget 2022-23, published on 9 December 2021. It allows you to explore the budget in two ways:

  • by drilling down into this year’s budget by portfolio
  • by looking at how the budget has changed over the past three years.

For SPICe’s detailed analysis of the policy choices and numbers in the Budget, please see our briefing, published on 13 December 2021.

About the data

When looking at the data over time, you can also view it adjusted for inflation, or in “real terms”. It should be noted that the pandemic resulted in volatility in the GDP deflator used to adjust budget figures for inflation.  Inflation as measured by the GDP deflator was 6.7% in 2020-21 and is forecast to be -0.7% in 2021-22.  Any comparisons involving these two years should be interpreted with caution.  More discussion of this issue can be found in the SPICe blog ‘(Un)real terms’. The deflators used in this tool are as appears in the Scottish Government budget document.

The budget is split into different portfolios which cover different areas of spending priorities, for example ‘Health and Social Care’ or ‘Education and Skills’. Within these portfolios there are budget lines which provide the spending at a more detailed level. The tools in this blog use the “level 2” and “level 3 data” which are the levels below these top level portfolios.

Explore by portfolio

This tool allows you to see how the budget is split up within each portfolio. We have used a “treemap” visualisation for this tool as it splits up the data into rectangles that are sized and ordered by the value of the portfolio or budget line. There is also a table underneath the visual which shows level 3 data ranked by size.

How to use the tool

At the top right hand of the treemap there is a bar with four arrows:

  • The first selection, an up arrow, moves you up a level.
  • When selected the second option, a down arrow, allow you to drilldown into a portfolio when you click on it.
  • The third option, double downwards arrows, moves all the data down 1 level, allowing you to compare across the whole budget.
  • The last option, a connected down arrow, moves all the data to the lowest level, allowing you to compare across the whole budget.

Explore the budget over time

This tool allows you to explore how the budget has changed over time down to level 2.

How to use the tool

  • Select a portfolio: this is a drop-down list of the highest level of the data. Once you have selected a portfolio the bar graph will display the total value of the selected portfolio and the area charts at the bottom will show all the level 2 data with that portfolio.
  • Adjust for inflation: this allows you to select whether the data has been adjusted for inflation. You can only select one option. The real terms data is in 2021-22 prices.
  • Select a level 2 budget line: this allows you to select a budget line at level 2. You can select more than one by holding down the CTRL key
  • What if I get lost? There is a button at the top.

This is an early version and so we would value feedback from Members, Members’ staff any anyone else with an interest. So, if you have any comments or suggestions on how to improve the tools please email us at

In depth analysis of the budget can be found in the Scottish Budget 2022-23 SPICe briefing.

Andrew Aiton, Data Visualsation Manager