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Local government revenue expenditure and financing 2018-2019: provisional outturn and budget estimates

Net revenue expenditure figures for all the main services carried out by Scotland's local authorities.

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2018-19 Provisional Outturn

All local authorities in Scotland were asked to provide provisional outturn net revenue expenditure figures on an unaudited basis before their accounts were compiled. As such, these figures are subject to revision in the final audited accounts and small changes over time should be interpreted with caution.

Scotland's local authorities provisional outturn total net revenue expenditure is £12.300 billion. This is an increase of £0.292 billion (+2.4%) compared with 2017-18 provisional outturn. Education and Social Work account for seven-tenths (70%) of total net revenue expenditure in 2018-19:

  • Education spend is expected to be £5.225 billion which equates to 42 per cent of total net revenue expenditure. This is an increase of £0.188 billion (+3.7 %) from 2017-18.
  • Social Work spend is expected to be £3.334 billion which equates to 27 per cent of total net revenue expenditure. This is an increase of £0.118 billion (+3.7%) from 2017-18.

Just over one-fifth (21%) of net revenue expenditure was distributed across all other services and just under one-tenth (9%) related to non-service expenditure. Table 1 shows the full breakdown of net revenue expenditure by service.

Table 1: Provisional Outturn 2018-19 by Service, £ billions

Service Provisional Outturn % of total net revenue expenditure Change from 2017-18 % change from 2017-18
Education 5.225 42% 0.188 3.7%
Social Work 3.334 27% 0.118 3.7%
Environmental Services 0.708 6% 0.004 0.6%
Culture and Related Services 0.548 4% 0.000 0.0%
Roads & Transport 0.399 3% -0.020 -4.8%
Planning & Development 0.225 2% -0.008 -3.6%
All other service expenditure[2] 0.719 6% 0.012 1.7%
Non-service expenditure[3] 1.142 9% -0.001 -0.1%
Total Revenue Expenditure 12.300 100% 0.292 2.4%

Figure 1 shows the change in provisional outturn between 2017-18 and 2018-19 by service.

Figure 1: Provisional Outturn 2017-18 vs. 2018-19 by Service

Figure 1: Provisional Outturn 2017-18 vs. 2018-19 by Service

As shown in Table 2, almost three-fifths (58%) of local authorities net revenue expenditure was funded by Scottish Government Grants in 2018-19. The remaining net revenue expenditure was largely financed by NDR and Council Tax income (41%), with 1% being financed by local authority reserves.

Table 2: Financing of net revenue expenditure in 2018-19, £ billions

Source of financing Amount of financing % of total net revenue expenditure financed
Scottish Government Grants 7.147 58%
Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) 2.636 21%
Council Tax 2.360 19%
Reserves 0.157 1%
Total Revenue Financing 12.300 100%

At 1 April 2018, local authorities held General Fund reserves of £1.136 billion. Local authorities used £0.157 billion to fund expenditure in 2018-19 and transferred £0.047 billion from other reserves, leaving a closing General Fund balance of £1.026 billion at 31 March 2019. Of the 32 local authorities, 29 used their reserves to fund expenditure in 2018-19 and the remaining 3 contributed to their reserves.

Contact

Email: lgfstats@gov.scot

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