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Council education spend increases

Published: 28 Feb 2017 09:31

Local Authority stats 2015-16 show revenue surplus of almost half a billion.

Scottish local authorities reported an overall revenue surplus on the provision of services of £0.45 billion, up from £0.35 billion for 2014-15, and a real terms increase in education spending, according to official statistics published today (Tuesday).

At the end of the financial year, local authorities held General Fund, HRA and Harbour Fund reserves of  £1.34 billion, an increase of 5.8% (an increase of £74 million) compared to the start of the financial year.

Spend on services increased by 0.7% to £10.1 billion in 2015-16, with the highest spend going to education (net expenditure of £4.7 billion, up 2.7%) and social work receiving the next largest spend (net expenditure of £3.2 billion, up 1.9%).

Commenting on the statistics, Cabinet Secretary for Finance Derek Mackay said:

“Today’s statistics show that the Scottish Government continues to treat local government very fairly at a time of continuing austerity from the UK Government.  

“This Government has previously made clear our priority is to close the poverty-related attainment gap and to deliver on the integration of health and social care that will best deliver for local people. It is, therefore, encouraging to note that the highest spends across 2015-16 were in education and social care, as they were the previous year, and that there was a welcome real terms increase of 1.9% in spending on education by Local Government.”

“In the Budget Bill 2017-18, passed by parliament only last week, the local government finance settlement plus the other sources of support available through the actual and potential increases in council tax income, and the support through the Health and Social Care Integration, amounts to an overall increase of potentially over £400 million or 3.9% in cash terms or £250 million or 2.4% in real terms.

"This is a package that not only delivers the best deal for tax payers and public services in the whole of the UK, but a fairer and stronger country.”

Background

Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2015-16