Local government expenditure and income in 2021-22

A National Statistics Publication.

The Chief Statistician has released figures on local government finance in 2021-22.

These figures provide a comprehensive overview of the financial activity of local government, including revenue expenditure and income; capital expenditure and financing; reserves; debt; and pensions.

As they cover the period from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, they also reflect the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on local government finance in 2021-22.

Revenue expenditure is the cost of delivering services each year. Local authorities net revenue expenditure in 2021-22 was £11,780 million. Education and Social Work were the services with highest net revenue expenditure, accounting for £5,867 million and £3,817 million respectively.

Capital expenditure is expenditure that creates the buildings and infrastructure necessary to provide services, such as schools and roads. Local authorities incurred £3,341 million of capital expenditure in 2021-22. This was predominantly financed by grants and contributions of £1,402 million and borrowing of £1,441 million.

Usable reserves are local authorities’ surplus income from previous years which can be used to finance future revenue or capital expenditure. At 31 March 2022, local authorities held £4,266 million of usable reserves.

When local authorities borrow money or use credit arrangements to finance capital expenditure, a debt is created which has to be repaid from future revenues. In 2021-22, local authorities made debt repayments of £553 million and at 31 March 2022 they had a total debt of £20,549 million.


Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics (SLGFS) 2021-22 are based on final, audited figures provided by local authorities - where available, or draft accounts if these have not yet been audited.

Read further information on Local Government Finance statistics publications and data collections.

These statistics have been produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.


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