This publication summarises the 2019-20 provisional outturn and 2020-21 budget estimates for services provided by Scottish councils.
All the figures reported in this publication have been collected via the Provisional Outturn and Budget Estimates (POBE) 2020 return with the help of the 32 councils in Scotland. The continued co-operation of these bodies in completing these returns is gratefully acknowledged.
The POBE return is sent to all councils annually in February. Councils are required to provide a breakdown of their net revenue expenditure by services and subservices. The return collects both provisional outturn figures for the current year and budget estimates for the forthcoming year.
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.
All figures provided in the POBE return and reported in this publication relate to net revenue expenditure. Net revenue expenditure is the gross revenue expenditure minus any specific income for individual services. It can therefore be considered as the expenditure to be financed from Scottish Government Grants, Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) income, Council Tax income and councils' reserves.
Net revenue expenditure is therefore influenced by the value of any income attributable to an individual service. For example, a council will provide planning and building control services for which they will charge fees. The net revenue expenditure will be the residual cost of providing those services less any income from fees charged.
The commentary within this publication focuses on Scotland-level figures only.
A workbook containing the source data from each councils' return will be available at www.gov.scot/collections/local-government-finance-statistics/#provisionaloutturnandbudgetestimates(pobe).
Due to the timing of the return, the vast majority of councils' provisional outturn figures and budget estimates do not take account of potential changes to expenditure or income due to Covid-19. See the 'Data Interpretation' section for more information.