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Local Authority Provisional Outturn (2015-16) and Budget Estimates (2016-17)

Published: 21 Jun 2016 09:57

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Provisional Outturn 2015-16 and Budget Estimates 2016-17 Statistics. The publication provides net revenue expenditure figures for all the main services carried out by Scotland's local authorities.

2015-16 – Provisional Outturn

Scotland's local authorities' provisional outturn total net revenue expenditure is £11.994 billion. This is an increase of £95 million (0.8%) compared with 2014-15.

£4.793 billion of the expenditure in 2015-16 is on Education, an increase of £116 million (2.5%) on 2014-15. £3.176 billion is on Social Work, an increase of £59 million (1.9%). These two services account for around two thirds of expenditure, with Education accounting for 40.0% of total expenditure and social work accounting for 26.5%.

Local Authorities received total funding of £11.947 billion from General Revenue Funding (59.7% of funding), Non-Domestic Rates Distributable Amount (23.3%) and Council Tax (17.0%). The £0.047 billion difference between expenditure and funding was met from General Fund reserves (£0.033 billion) and transfers from other reserves (£0.014 billion).

At 1st April 2015, local authorities held General Fund reserves of £1.079 billion, which fell by 3.1% to £1.046 billion at the 31st March 2016. Of the 32 authorities, 15 authorities drew on reserves to fund expenditure in 15-16 and 17 increased their reserves.

2016-17 – Budget Estimates

For 2016-17 Scotland's local authorities have set a net revenue expenditure budget of £11.724 billion for spending on all services. This is £153 million less (1.3%) than the budget set for 2015-16.

£4.826 billion of the 2016-17 budget is for Education, an increase of £61 million (1.3%) on 2015-16. £3.086 billion is on Social Work, a decrease of £20 million (0.6%). These are Net Revenue Expenditure figures and, therefore, do not include the £250 million made available from the Health budget via Integration Joint Boards. These two services account for over two thirds of the budget, with Education accounting for 41.2% of the total budget and social work accounting for 26.3%.

Local Authorities have budgeted to receive total funding of £11.635 billion from General Revenue Funding (58.5% of total funding), Non-Domestic Rates Distributable Amount (23.8%) and Council Tax (17.6%). Authorities plan to meet the £0.089 billion difference between expenditure and funding from General Fund reserves (£0.069 billion) and transfers from other reserves (£0.020 billion).

At 1st April 2016, local authorities estimated General Fund reserves of £1.046 billion, 21 authorities have set budgets that call on reserves, 9 have set budgets that neither call on, or increase reserves, and 2 have set budgets that increase reserves. Overall General Fund reserves are expected to fall by 6.6% to £0.977 billion by the 31st March 2017.

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government's Provisional Outturn and Budget Estimates (POBE) have been collected with the help of the 32 unitary local authorities. The continued co-operation of these bodies in completing these returns is gratefully acknowledged.

The provisional outturn 2015-16 expenditure are provisional figures, the final, audited outturn 2015-16 figures will be published in the Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics (SLGFS) 2015-16, scheduled for publication in February 2017.

All data are net revenue expenditure figures.

Local Government expenditure is split between revenue and capital expenditure. This publication covers revenue expenditure only. Revenue expenditure is largely made up of employee and operating costs. Gross Revenue Expenditure is the total expenditure on local authority services within a financial year and net revenue expenditure is the gross revenue expenditure less any specific income for individual services. Net revenue expenditure is therefore the expenditure to be financed from General Revenue Funding, Non-Domestic Rates income, Council Tax income and Local Authority Reserves.

The Budget Estimate for 2016-17 for Social Work does not take into account additional support of £250 million which the Scottish Government has made available from the Health budget to authorities via Integration Joint Boards in 2016-17 to:

  • Expand social care to support the objectives of integration; and
  • Help meet a range of existing costs including the commitment to pay the Living Wage faced by local authorities in the delivery of effective and high quality health and social care services in the context of reducing budgets

The full statistical publication is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance/POBEStats

This publication contains a breakdown of provisional outturn and budget estimates by local authority and service.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About