Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2012-13

Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics is an annual publication that provides a comprehensive overview of Scottish Local Authority financial activity. The publication covers Local Authority income, revenue and capital expenditure, outstanding debt, local taxation and Local Authority pensions.

Executive Summary

Revenue Expenditure

Net revenue expenditure (revenue expenditure to be financed from General Revenue Funding, local taxation and balances) on services increased slightly from £11.5 billion in 2011-12 to £11.6 billion in 2012-13. The highest spending service in the general fund is education which had net expenditure of £4.59 billion (40% of net expenditure). Social Work is the next largest service with net expenditure of £2.96 billion (26% of net expenditure).

Revenue Income

Total revenue income grew very slightly from £17.87 billion in 2011-12 to £17.95 billion in 2012-13. The main source of revenue income is General Revenue Funding, providing around 43% of total revenue income, with local taxation as the next largest source providing around 23% of income.

Council Tax

  • The average Band D council tax in Scotland was £1,149 in 2012-13.
  • Council tax income was £1.9 billion in 2012-13 (excluding council tax benefit).

The total number of chargeable dwellings (i.e. the tax base) has increased slightly each year, rising from 2.365 million in September 2009 to 2.410 million in September 2013.

As a result of the council tax freeze, council tax levels have remained fixed since 2007-08 (except in Stirling where there was a slight drop in the council tax level in 2008-09).

Non-domestic Rates

Non-domestic rates bills are calculated using the rateable value of a non-domestic property, multiplied by the poundage rate (45.0 pence in 2012-13) less any relief entitlement.

  • As at 1st April 2013, there were 219,441 non-domestic properties on the Valuation Roll, with a total rateable value of £6.716 billion.
  • The non-domestic rates 'Distributable Amount' (as described in chapter 2) was £2.263 billion in 2012-13.
  • The gross amount of non-domestic rates relief provided in 2012-13 was £0.588 billion.

The total rateable value (RV) of non-domestic rate properties has increased from £6.612 billion at revaluation (1 April 2010) to £6.716 billion at 1st April 2013. This increase in the tax base is due to the net impact of several factors including increased RV from new properties and extensions, and decreases in RV as appeals are resolved or properties demolished.

Non-domestic rate income collected increased from £2.251 billion in 2011-12 to £2.347 billion in 2012-13. An inflationary increase in the poundage rate (from 42.6 pence to 45.0 pence) is the key driver of this increase in income.

Capital Expenditure

Total expenditure funded from capital resources was £2.55 billion in 2012-13 (£0.61 billion in the housing revenue account and £1.94 billion in the General Fund), compared to £2.66 billion in 2011-12 - a fall of £112m. The majority of capital expenditure went on new construction, conversions and enhancements to existing buildings, this category accounted for around 80% of expenditure.

General fund capital expenditure in 2012-13 was £1,942 million. The services with the highest capital expenditure were education with £517 million (27%) and roads and transport which had expenditure of £503 million (26%).


On 1 April 2012 Local Authorities had total revenue reserves of £1.68 billion; over the course of the year this rose by £0.15 billion (9%) to stand at £1.83 billion on 31st March 2013. Capital reserves fell by £0.02 billion (4%), from £0.59 billion to £0.57 billion.

Local Government Pensions

  • Local Government Pension Funds income in 2012-13 was £4.18 billion.
  • Local Government Pension Funds expenditure in 2012-13 was £1.14 billion

Pension fund expenditure on benefits (including increases under the Pensions (Increase) Acts) has increased from £1.02 billion in 2011-12 to £1.03 billion in 2012-13. Net Profits on Realisation of Investments is the most variable component of the total Pension Funds Income and increased from £69 million in 2011-12 to £2.3 billion in 2012-13. Total income excluding net profits on realisation of investments increased from £1.65 billion in 2011-12 to £1.85 billion in 2012-13.


Email: Euan Smith

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