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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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2019-20 Budget Estimates

All local authorities were also asked to provide their budget estimates for net revenue expenditure in 2019-20. Across all local authorities, they have set a net revenue expenditure budget of £12.635 billion for spending on all services. This is an increase of £0.497 billion (+4.1%) compared with the budget set for 2018-19.

Education and Social Work are budgeted to continue to account for around seven-tenths (71%) of net revenue expenditure in 2019-20:

  • The Education budget has been set at £5.557 billion which equates to 44 per cent of total net revenue expenditure. This is an increase of £0.398 billion (+7.7 %) from the budget set in 2018-19.
  • The Social Work budget has been set at £3.414 billion which equates to 27 per cent of total net revenue expenditure. This is an increase of £0.154 billion (+4.7%) from the budget set in 2018-19.

Around one-fifth (20%) of net revenue expenditure is budgeted to be distributed across all other services and less than one-tenth (9%) has been budgeted for non-service expenditure. Table 3 shows the full breakdown of budgeted net revenue expenditure by service.

Table 3: Budgeted Net Revenue Expenditure 2019-20 by Service, £ billions

Service BudgetEstimate % of total net revenue expenditure Change from 2018-19 % change from 2018-19
Education 5.557 44% 0.398 7.7%
Social Work 3.414 27% 0.154 4.7%
Environmental Services 0.699 6% 0.020 2.9%
Culture & Related Services 0.554 4% 0.016 3.0%
Roads & Transport 0.377 3% -0.012 -3.1%
Planning & Development 0.221 2% -0.020 -8.3%
All other service expenditure[4] 0.698 6% -0.018 -2.6%
Non-service expenditure[5] 1.114 9% -0.041 -3.5%
Total Revenue Expenditure 12.635 100% 0.497 4.1%

Figure 2 shows the change in budget estimates between 2018-19 and 2019-20 by service.

Figure 2: Budgeted Net Revenue Expenditure 2018-19 vs. 2019-20 by Service

Figure 2: Budgeted Net Revenue Expenditure 2018-19 vs. 2019-20 by Service

As shown in Table 4, local authorities have budgeted for almost three-fifths of net revenue expenditure (57%) to be funded by Scottish Government Grants in 2019-20. The remaining net revenue expenditure is largely budgeted to be financed by NDR and Council Tax income (42%), with 1% to be financed by local authority reserves.

Table 4: Budgeted financing of net revenue expenditure in 2019-20, £ billions

Source of financing Amount of financing budgeted % of total net revenue expenditure funded
Scottish Government Grants 7.205 57%
Non-Domestic Rates 2.853 23%
Council Tax 2.463 19%
Reserves 0.114 1%
Total Revenue Financing 12.635 100%

At 1 April 2019, local authorities estimate General Fund reserves of £1.026 billion. Local authorities plan to use £0.114 billion to provide services in 2019-20 and transfer £0.043 billion from other reserves, which would give a closing General Fund balance of £0.955 billion at 31 March 2020. Of the 32 local authorities, 22 plan to use their reserves to fund expenditure in 2019-20; five plan to increase their reserves and the remaining five plan to neither use nor increase their reserves.

Contact

Email: lgfstats@gov.scot

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