1. DATA SOURCES
1.1 The Scottish Government’s Provisional Outturn and Budget Estimates (POBE) has been collected with the help of the 32 unitary local authorities. The continued co-operation of these bodies in completing these returns is gratefully acknowledged.
1.2 The POBE form and additional information sheets are sent to all local authorities annually to complete a breakdown by service and sub-service of their provisional outturn expenditure for the current year and their budget estimates for the forthcoming year. All amounts returned are net revenue expenditure.
1.3 The provisional outturn 2014-15 expenditure are provisional figures , the final outturn 2014-15 net revenue expenditure figures will be published in the Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics (SLGFS) 2014-15, scheduled for publication in February 2016. Previous SLGFS publications can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance/PubScottishLGFStats.
1.4 NDR income figures in this publication are the provisional NDR income figures reported by Councils in the POBE return. Actual distributable amounts received by councils are given in The Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment Order 2014 and The Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment Order 2015.
1.5 Detailed statistics on budget estimates, using the POBE data, can be found in the ‘Rating Review Estimates’ series which are published annually by CIPFA around September.
2. DATA DEFINITIONS
2.1 All data are net revenue expenditure figures.
2.2 Local Government expenditure is split between revenue and capital expenditure. This publication covers revenue expenditure only. Revenue expenditure is largely made up of employee and operating costs. Gross revenue expenditure is the total expenditure on local authority services within a financial year and net revenue expenditure is the gross revenue expenditure less any specific income for individual services. Net revenue expenditure is therefore expenditure to be financed from General Revenue Funding, Non-Domestic Rates income, Council Tax income and local authority reserves.
2.3 Net revenue expenditure is therefore influenced by the value of any income attributable to an individual service. For example, a local authority will provide planning and building control services for which they will charge fees. The net revenue expenditure will be the residual cost of providing those services after deducting any income from fees charged.
2.4 As a consequence of the creation of the Scottish Police Services Authority and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on 1st April 2013 police and fire services are no longer funded through the local government settlement. Consequently expenditure on police and fire is not included in local government expenditure figures from 2013-14 onwards. This should be taken into account when comparing historic data with figures from 2013-14 onwards.
2.5 When comparing the Provisional Outturn and the Budget Estimates with each other, or with any previously published data on outturn or budgets, please be aware of the following:-
- Across years, accounting procedures adopted by councils may improve as new Statements of Recommended Practice (SORP) and Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) are developed by official accounting bodies, which can lead to discontinuity in the data collected between financial years.
- Budget estimates are only an indication of spend, and when comparing budget estimates, year to year changes for individual councils and/or individual services can be misleading in terms of being an indication of the eventual annual change in spend.
- Net revenue expenditure can be affected by large one-off payments in any year e.g. Equal Pay back pay settlement expenditure.
2.6 Revised accounting arrangements for Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) were introduced from 1 st April 2009. From 2010 onwards, the POBE was revised to collect data based on the new arrangements, with the statutory repayment of debt and interest elements of the total unitary payment previously recorded within individual service expenditure, now recorded in other expenditure lines of the POBE return and hence included under ‘other services’ in tables 1 and 2. For more detailed information on the accounting changes see Finance Circular 4/2010.
For public enquiries (non-media) about the information contained in this Statistics Publication Notice contact Local Government Finance Statistics on 0131 244 7033 or e-mail email@example.com.
Media enquiries about the information in this Statistics Publication Notice should be addressed to Iona Macpherson on 0131 244 5070.
Local Government Finance Statistics website: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance