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Highest spend for education

Published: 29 Feb 2016 10:49

LA stats 2014-15 show revenue surplus of £69.4m as borrowing per head remains steady.

Local Authorities reported an overall revenue surplus of £69.4 million for 2014-15, compared with an overall deficit of £54.8 million in 2013-14, according to official statistics published today (Monday).

At the end of the financial year, local authorities held total revenue reserves of £1.879 billion, an increase of 3.6% (an increase of £65.2 million) compared to the same time the previous year.

Spend on services increased by 1% to £10.5 billion in 2014-15, with the highest spend going to education (net expenditure of £4.61 billion, an increase of 0.7%) and social work receiving the next largest spend (net expenditure of £3.11 billion, an increase of 2.6%).

Commenting on the statistics, Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

"These figures demonstrate that, despite cuts of nearly 10% to the Scottish budget from the UK Government, local government has been treated very fairly by the Scottish Government and protected from the worst impact of UK cuts.

"The Scottish Parliament Information Centre, in its research briefing on local government finance, found that the council tax freeze was not only fully funded but could indeed be said to be "over-funded".

"My priority has always been to deliver a financial settlement that councils can accept in order that we can pursue shared priorities which will improve outcomes for local people through health and social care integration and improving educational attainment. It is welcome news that the highest spends in 2014-15 were on education and social care, and I hope to see this trend continue.

"In the Budget Bill 2016-17, passed by parliament only last week, the overall reduction in funding equates to less than 1% of Local Government's estimated total expenditure when taking into account the addition of the £250 million to support the integration of health and social care.

"I welcome the agreement of Scotland's local authorities to the financial settlement 2016-17 which, when taken together as a package, will enable them to increase the pace of reform and improve essential public services to communities all over the country. It is a package that is firmly focused on our joint priorities to deliver sustainable economic growth, protect front-line services and support the most vulnerable in our society."

Notes to editors

The statistics can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/02/1326