This publication contains the 2018-19 provisional outturn and 2019-20 budget estimates for local authority capital expenditure, financing and prudential indicators on local authority external debt and the capital financing requirement.
The information in this publication is collected via the Capital Provisional Outturn and Budget Estimates (CPOBE) return with the help of the 32 unitary local authorities. The continued co-operation of these bodies in completing these returns is gratefully acknowledged.
The CPOBE return was brought in following a review in 2015 of the data collected by the Scottish Government on capital expenditure and financing. The CPOBE form has been designed to be in line with the data collected via the revenue POBE return and is also sent to all local authorities annually for completion.
Local government expenditure is split between revenue and capital expenditure. This publication covers capital expenditure only. Capital expenditure is mainly for purchasing, constructing or enhancing physical assets, such as buildings (e.g. schools), land (e.g. playing fields), infrastructure (e.g. roads), vehicles, plants and machinery. Capital expenditure also includes expenditure that the Scottish Ministers have permitted local authorities to treat as capital expenditure as it is met from capital resources, such as third party capital grants.
Unlike revenue expenditure, capital projects create an asset that authorities use to provide services over a period of more than one year. As the authority gains the benefit of the asset over a number of years, it is reasonable to spread the cost of creating that asset over the life of that asset and authorities do this by borrowing (which they cannot do to fund revenue expenditure).
Borrowing includes both the borrowing of money and from credit arrangements such as Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) including the Scottish Non Profit Distributing (NPD) model. Debt costs – both the repayment of the borrowing and the interest cost of the debt – are met from a local authority's annual revenue budget.
The commentary within this publication focuses on high-level Scotland figures only. An excel file containing more detailed figures, including time series, and the workbook containing the local authority source data from the return will be available at www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance/POBEStats.
Experimental Statistics: Data being developed
These statistics are currently being developed and have been published to involve users and stakeholders in their development, as well as to build in quality and understanding at an early stage. This publication has not yet been assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and is under review. These statistics are therefore published as experimental statistics, rather than as official statistics.