Local government funding 2020-2021: process overview

Overview of the process to determine the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2020 to 2021. The figures used are set out in Finance Circular 2/2020, which was agreed by Parliament prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so do not take account of additional COVID-19 funding.


There are 32 Local Authority councils in Scotland. Each council is responsible for a range of services, such as schools, housing, social work, street lighting, road maintenance, refuse collection, elections, and planning.

Councils in Scotland spent about £18 billion in 2018-19. This was mainly funded from four sources: Scottish Government grant, service income, Non-domestic Rates, and Council Tax.

The Scottish Government seeks to distribute its funding fairly between councils. It does this by agreeing the method of distribution with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and councils. This publication describes the calculations used for 2020-21.

During 2020 a large amount of additional funding was made available to councils due to the Covid-19 pandemic; by mid-October there had been over £380 million. These funds are not included in this publication. The forecast income from Non-domestic Rates was also revised downwards.

Map of Scotland showing the 32 councils


Email: gaestatistics@gov.scot

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