Provisional outturn 2015-2016 and budget estimates 2016-2017

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

This document is part of a collection

Background Notes

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 2015-16 expenditure are provisional figures, the final outturn 2015-16 net revenue expenditure figures will be published in the Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics ( SLGFS) 2015-16, scheduled for publication in February 2017. Previous SLGFS publications can be found here:

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 2015 and The Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment Order 2016.

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 expenditure figures 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 (which comprises General Revenue Grant and Ring-Fenced Revenue Grants), 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 The Budget Estimate for 2016-17 for Social Work does not take into account the additional support of £250 million which the Scottish Government have made available from the Health budget to authorities via Integration Joint Boards in 2016-17 to:

Expand social care to support the objectives of integration; and

Help meet a range of existing costs including the commitment to pay the Living Wage faced by local authorities in the delivery of effective and high quality health and social care services in the context of reducing budgets.

2.5 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.

2.6 When looking at trends over time, comparisons should always be made on a like for like basis. The Provisional Outturn should not be compared with the Budget Estimates. For comparisons over time, the Provisional Outturn should be compared with the Provisional Outturn from previous publications, and the Budget Estimates should be compared with the Budget Estimates from previous publications.

2.7 When interpreting the data collected through POBE, please be aware of the following:-

  • Across years, changes in accounting standards may impact on the categorisation of expenditure, which can lead to discontinuity in the data collected between financial years.
  • Budgets are financial plans for the year, and will reflect both the anticipated demand for services in any year, and the resources available to deliver those services. Any year on year comparisons need to take these factors into account.
  • Net revenue expenditure can be affected by large one-off payments in any year e.g. Equal Pay back pay settlement expenditure.


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

Media enquiries about the information in this Statistics Publication Notice should be addressed to Annalena Winslow on 0131 244 2322.


Local Government Finance Statistics website:


Email: Euan Smith,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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