Local government expenditure and income in 2022-23

A National Statistics Publication.

The Chief Statistician has released figures on local government finance in 2022-23. 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.

Revenue expenditure is the cost of delivering services each year. Local authorities net revenue expenditure in 2022-23 was £12,951 million. Education and Social Work were the services with highest net revenue expenditure, accounting for £6,472 million and £4,291 million respectively.

Capital expenditure is expenditure that creates the buildings and infrastructure necessary to provide services, such as schools and roads. Local authorities incurred £3,786 million of capital expenditure in 2022-23. This was predominantly financed by grants and contributions of £1,617 million and borrowing of £1,533 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 2023, local authorities held £4,532 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 2022-23, local authorities made debt repayments of £53 million and at 31 March 2023 they had a total debt of £21,801 million.


Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics (SLGFS) 2022-23 is based on final, audited figures provided by local authorities (where available, or draft accounts if these have not yet been audited).

Further information on Local Government Finance statistics publications and data collections can be found on the Scottish Government website.

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


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