Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2013-14

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.


Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service replaced the former Police and Fire Boards. These new bodies are classified as central government, so are no longer included in figures on local government in 2013-14. Where possible, estimates have been produced that exclude expenditure on Police and Fire for 2012-13 and earlier, so that comparisons over time can be made.

Due to the way that Police and Fire Boards were funded, it is not possible to exclude all Police and Fire income from previous years. As such, for many of the income sections, figures from 2013-14 are not strictly comparable with figures from earlier years and comparisons should be made with care.

Revenue Expenditure and Income

Gross revenue expenditure on services was £15.3 billion in 2013-14 (up 1.8% on 2012-13, excluding police and fire). Of this £0.83 billion of expenditure relates to the provision of housing through the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

Net revenue expenditure on services was £10.5 billion in 2013-14 (up 1.9% on 2012-13 excluding police and fire). The highest spending service in the General Fund is education which had net expenditure of £4.6 billion (44% of net expenditure). Social Work is the next largest service with net expenditure of £3.0 billion (29% of net expenditure).

Financing costs (interest and debt repayment net of investment income and any surplus or deficit on external trading) increases total net revenue expenditure to £11.68 billion in 2013-14, an increase of 1.6% on 2012-13 (excluding police and fire).

Total Revenue Funding was £11.64 billion in 2013-14. As it is not possible to exclude the Police & Fire component of General Revenue Funding from previous years, revenue income figures for 2013-14 are not comparable with previous years. The main source of revenue funding is General Revenue Funding, providing around 62% of revenue funding, with Non-Domestic Rates providing around 21% of funding and council tax providing the remaining 17%.

Council Tax

  • The average Band D council tax in Scotland was £1,149 in 2013-14.
  • Council tax income was £1.98 billion in 2013-14 (after council tax Reduction).

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 2.428 million in September 2014.

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 (RV) of a non-domestic property, multiplied by the poundage rate (46.2 pence in 2013-14) and any relevant supplements (for example Large Business Supplement), less any relief entitlement.

  • Non-domestic rate income collected increased slightly from £2.347 billion in 2012-13 to £2.367 billion in 2013-14. This is due to the net effect of several factors including an inflationary increase in the poundage rate, the impact of revaluation appeals, and other changes to the tax base (for example due to new or demolished properties).
  • Non-domestic rates reliefs (e.g. Charity, Small Business Bonus Scheme, Empty Property) provided relief of £0.590 billion in 2013-14.
  • As at 1st April 2014, the tax base was comprised of 221,292 non-domestic properties on the Valuation Roll, with a total rateable value of £6.681 billion.
  • The non-domestic rates 'Distributable Amount' (as described in chapter 2) was £2.435 billion in 2013-14.

Capital Expenditure

Total expenditure funded from capital resources was £2.46 billion in 2013-14 (£0.62 billion in the HRA and £1.84 billion in the General Fund), compared to £2.55 billion in 2012-13 - a fall of £0.09 billion. 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 2013-14 was £1.84 billion. The services with the highest capital expenditure were education with £0.524 billion (28%) and roads and transport which had expenditure of £0.459 billion (25%).


On 1 April 2013 local authorities had total revenue reserves of £1.784 billion; over the course of the year this fell by £1.6 million (0.1%) to stand at £1.783 billion on 31st March 2014. Capital reserves fell by £9.7 million (1.7%), from £0.57 billion to £0.56 billion.

Local Government Pensions

  • Local Government Pension Scheme Funds income in 2013-14 was £3.22 billion.
  • Local Government Pension Scheme Funds expenditure in 2013-14 was £1.13 billion

Pension fund expenditure on benefits (including increases under the Pensions (Increase) Acts) has increased from £1.03 billion in 2012-13 to £1.07 billion in 2013-14. Net Investment and Other Income is the most variable component of the total Pension Funds Income and fell from £3.04 billion in 2012-13 to £2.06 billion in 2013-14.


Email: Euan Smith

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