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25th March 2010

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2008-09. The publication includes key statistics on Scottish Local Authority income and expenditure, outstanding debt and local taxes.

The main findings are:

* Total Revenue Income in 2008-09 was 17.3 billion pounds, compared with 16.6 billion pounds in 2007-08. About three fifths of Revenue Income came from Revenue Grants (10.4 billion pounds). The other main sources of income in 2008-09 were Sales, Fees and Charges (2.3 billion pounds, 13 per cent), Non-Domestic Rates (2.0 billion pounds, 11 per cent) and Council Tax (1.9 billion pounds, 11 per cent).

* Total Capital Income in 2008-09 was 1.0 billion pounds, of which 61 per cent was from Government Grants, 23 per cent was from Capital Receipts and 16 per cent was from Other Grants and Contributions.

* Total General Fund Net Revenue Expenditure in 2008-09 was 12.4 billion pounds, compared with 11.1 billion pounds in 2007-08. Of this expenditure, 40.1 per cent was on Education, 23.0 per cent was on Social Work and 12.2 per cent was on Police, Fire and Emergency Plannning.

* Total Capital Expenditure in 2008-09 was 2,554 million pounds, compared with 2,184 million pounds in 2007-08. Roads and Transport accounted for the largest amount of Capital Expenditure (480 million pounds) followed closely by Education (479 million pounds).

* Total borrowing (including finance leases) to finance Capital Expenditure in 2008-09 was 1,207 million pounds, and total outstanding debt at 31 March 2009 was 10.3 billion pounds.

The full statistical publication can be accessed at:


i.i GROSS EXPENDITURE is expenditure incurred without taking account of any associated income (although inter-account and inter-authority transfers are deducted to avoid double-counting).

i.ii NET REVENUE EXPENDITURE is revenue expenditure financed by Government Grants (including Revenue Support Grant), local taxes and the use of balances or 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.

i.iii CAPITAL EXPENDITURE relates to the provision and improvement of assets (such as schools, new houses and machinery) which continue to be of value long after their acquisition. CAPITAL INCOME is made up mostly from the sale of these assets.

i.iv The General Fund is the account where most transactions of a local authority take place; it is, therefore, by far the largest account.

i.v The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) records expenditure and income associated with dwellings provided under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987. Housing is the only service where a separate 'ring-fenced' account is required by law. Expenditure and income on other housing services, such as the provision of renovation grants to private homeowners, is charged to the general fund. Trading Services are local authority services which are, or are intended to be, self-financing through fees and charges levied on the users of the service. Because of the differences between the funding for trading services and other activities, their accounts are maintained separately.

i.vii Common Goods Funds and Pension Funds are maintained outside of the general fund.

ii. This publication covers the transactions of local authorities and joint boards as defined in the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. It contains a summary of local authority revenue and capital income broken down by the source of income, including sections covering non-domestic rates and council tax. It also contains sections on local government revenue expenditure covering general fund services, housing revenue account and other funds.

iii. Further sections cover capital expenditure and how it is financed, and borrowing and outstanding debt. The final section covers pension funds. A set of detailed annexes show the key statistics from the main part of the publication broken down at individual council level and/or service level.

iv. When considering comparisons between revenue income and expenditure levels in 2008-09 to previous years, it is important to note that in the 2008-09 local government finance revenue settlement, many formerly ring-fenced revenue grants were rolled up into General Revenue Funding. A few examples of these rolled up grants include the Supporting People Grant, the Strategic Waste Fund and the Tackling and Preventing Homelessness Fund. This change in the structure of funding has impacted on the levels of gross and net revenue expenditure for some services and not for others. The services that have shown the greatest impacts are Social Work, Environmental Services, Planning & Economic Development and Non-HRA Housing. (Further explanations are available within the publication.)

3. Further information on Local Government Finance statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

4. This is a National Statistics publication. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customers' needs. They are produced free from any political interference. More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: