The Terms of Reference, setting out the scope and purpose of the work of the Fiscal Commission, were set by the Finance Minister. They state that the Fiscal Commission should:
“Review the case for increasing the fiscal powers to the NI Assembly, advising the Finance Minister on powers which could enhance the Assembly’s fiscal responsibilities, increase its ability to raise revenues to sustainably fund public services, and provide additional policy instruments. As part of this, the Commission should consider the need for additional budgetary tools to manage any increased financial responsibility.
The Commission should carry out research and put forward recommendations to the Minister of Finance that are realistically implementable within the NI context and drawing from the experience of Scotland and Wales, including what has worked well, and where challenges have been encountered in those administrations. This should include the potential costs incurred and realistic timescales of any new powers proposed.
In addition, the Commission should also consider how the spending power of the NI Block can be protected if more powers are devolved.”