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Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics: 2014-15

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician yesterday published Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics: 2014-15. This is an annual publication that provides a comprehensive overview of financial activity of Scottish local authorities. The publication covers: local authority revenue expenditure and income, capital expenditure and income; reserves; debt; local taxation; and local authority pensions. The figures released yesterday were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Revenue Expenditure and Income

Local Authorities reported an overall revenue surplus of £69.4 million (0.46% of gross revenue expenditure) for 2014-15, compared with an overall deficit of £54.8 million in 2013-14. This surplus increased revenue reserves. On 31st March 2015 local authorities held total revenue reserves of £1.879 billion. This is an increase of 3.6% (an increase of £65.2 million: £69.4 million of revenue surplus less £4.2 million of movements in reserves) since the 1st April 2014. 

General Fund net revenue expenditure on services increased by 1.0%, from £10.4 billion in 2013-14 to £10.5 billion in 2014-15. The highest spending service in the General Fund is Education which had net expenditure of £4.61 billion, which is an increase of 0.7% (£33 million) on 2013-14. Social Work is the next largest service with net expenditure of £3.11 billion and has increased by 2.6% (£79 million) on 2013-14. 

Total General Funding in 2014-15 was £11.92 billion, an increase of 1.7% on 2013-14. This is made up of Scottish Government General Revenue Grant £7.17 billion (60%), Non Domestic Rates Distributable Amount £2.65 billion (22%), Council tax £2.02 billion (17%), and other funding of £0.08 billion (1%).

Capital Expenditure and Income 

Total capital expenditure was £2.40 billion in 2014-15 (£0.67 billion in the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and £1.73 billion in the General Fund), compared to £2.46 billion in 2013-14 – a fall of £60m (2.4%). The majority (around 80%) of capital expenditure went on new construction, conversions and enhancements to existing buildings. 

Borrowing to fund capital expenditure (Loans Fund borrowing) increased by 1.7% (£0.221 billion).Advances to the General Fund increased by 0.3% (£0.026 billion) and HRA Loans Fund advances increased by 6.5% (£0.195 billion). Total Loans Fund Advances outstanding at 31st March 2015 was £13.18 billion. The General Fund share of this total was £9.96 billion, which provides a Scottish average borrowing per head of £1,862. It has been around this value since 2012-13. The HRA share of the loans fund balance was £3.22 billion which provides an average borrowing per dwelling of £10,138 (up 6.3% on 31st March 2014). 

Capital reserves increased by £10.3 million (1.9%), from £0.53 billion on the 1st April 2014 to £0.54 billion on the 31st March 2015. 

Council Tax 

The average Band D Council Tax in Scotland was £1,149 in 2014-15. Net Council Tax income, after all discounts and reductions, was £2.022 billion in 2014-15. The total number of chargeable dwellings (i.e. the tax base) has increased slightly each year, rising from 2.377 million in September 2010 to 2.441 million in September 2015.

Non-Domestic Rates

Non-domestic rate income collected increased from £2.367 billion in 2013-14 to 2.511 billion in 2014-15. This is due to the net effect of several factors such as the inflationary increase in the poundage rate, the impact of revaluation appeals, changes to rates relief schemes and other changes to the tax base (e.g. new or demolished properties). Non-domestic rates reliefs provided relief of £0.607 billion in 2014-15, up from £0.590 billion in 2013-14. Increases in Small Business Bonus Scheme and Charity relief were the main factors which contributed to the increased total. As at 1st April 2015, the non-domestic rate tax base comprised of 223,046 non-domestic properties on the Valuation Roll with a total rateable value of £6.719 billion. The non-domestic rates ‘Distributable Amount’ was £2.650 billion in 2014-15. 

Local Government Pension Funds 

Local Government Pension Fund income in 2014-15 was £5.40 billion with expenditure of £1.18 billion. The high income is largely due to £4.22 billion of investment income, which can be highly volatile (this has averaged £1.9 billion over the last 8 years and was negative £1 billion in 2008-09). Pension fund expenditure on benefits (including increases under the (Pensions (Increase) Acts)) has increased from £1.07 billion in 2013-14 to £1.12 billion in 2014-15. Pension fund contributions from employees or employers increased from £1.16 billion in 2013-14 to £1.18 billion in 2014-15.

Notes To Editors

The full Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2014-15 publication is available at This is a National Statistics publication.


  • GROSS REVENUE EXPENDITURE is the total expenditure on Local Authority services within a financial year less inter-authority and inter-account transfers.
  • NET REVENUE EXPENDITURE is revenue expenditure to be financed from General Revenue Funding, non-domestic rates, council tax and balances. It is therefore gross revenue expenditure less other government grants, sales, fees and charges, grants to third parties funded by General Capital Grant, and other grants, reimbursements and contributions.
  • CAPITAL EXPENDITURE is mainly incurred by Local Authorities for buying, constructing or enhancing physical assets such as buildings (schools, houses etc.), land, vehicles, plant and machinery. CAPITAL INCOME comprises of Government grants, receipts from the sale or disposal of assets and other grants and contributions.

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. Further information on Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics can be found at .

Each year, the Scottish Government issues financial returns relating to local government finance for completion by Local Authorities, Joint boards, Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) and Scottish Assessors. Summary information is published in the annual publication: “Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics”. IPF/CIPFA publish local authority information in their Rating Review publications. The information is used to answer requests (both internal and external to SG), for policy analysis and for Parliamentary Questions.

The figures released yesterday were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:


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