At the beginning of February I shared an update to the local government finance settlement at Stage 1 of the Budget Bill 2018-19. The figures in this were based on the Draft Budget figures, with the additional funds announced at Stage 1 added on to give an indication of what the final local government finance settlement in 2018-19 might look like.
The Budget Bill, which confirmed the overall settlement for local government, was passed on the 21 February. All that remained was to wait for the final figures and allocations to local authorities to come out after the Local Government Finance Order was debated and passed yesterday. These have now been published in Local Government Finance Circular 4/2018.
Total settlement to local government
The table below confirms the final overall settlement for local government in 2018-19, as set out in the Local Government Finance Circular 4/2018, compared to equivalent figures from the 2017-18 Budget (Local Government Finance Circular 1/2017).
At Stage 1 of the Budget Bill the Scottish Government announced that £34.5m of additional funding for 2018-19 would be paid in 2017-18. This £34.5m is part of the 2018-19 settlement but as it is being funded from Scottish Government underspends in the current year it is physically being paid on 28 March.
|Local Government||2017-18 (cash)||2018-19 (cash)||Cash change||Cash change %||2018-19 (real)||Real change||Real change %|
|Distributable Revenue Funding||9,527.1||9,724.3||197.2||2.1%||9,582.7||55.6||0.6%|
|Distributable Revenue Funding 2017-18 (to be included in funding for 2018-19)||34.5||34.5||34.0||34.0|
|Total Revenue plus Distributable Revenue Funding 2017-18||9,639.5||9,814.4||174.9||1.8%||9,671.5||32.0||0.3%|
The former blog was based on the figures and presentation given in the 2018-19 Draft Budget document (table 10.13), however, in this blog we aim to compare this years’ figures to those from the equivalent stage last year, so the presentation and figures have changed.
The total allocation for local government in 2018-19 is £10,690.8 m, which represents a real terms increase of 1% on the 2017-18 settlement at the same stage of the Budget process last year. Updated figures can be broken down as follows-
- Total Revenue Funding increases in cash terms by 1.5% (£140.4m), however in real terms this represents a flat settlement between 2017-18 and 2018-19.
- If the additional £34.5m funding is included, this Revenue Funding increases by 1.8% in cash terms (£174.9m), or 0.3% in real terms (£32m).
- Once Capital funding is taken into account, Total Funding for local authorities increases by 2.5% in cash terms (£264.8m), or 1% in real terms.It’s important to note that there is still £55.650m of undistributed Revenue funding to be allocated over the course of 2018-19, so final outturn figures will change, as they do every year. For more on this see SB 17/44 Local Government finance: facts and figures 2010-11 to 2017-18.
Allocations to local authorities
The table below sets out the individual allocations to local authorities, again compared to the equivalent stage in the Budget process last year. Comparisons are made between the “Total 2018-19 Revenue” figures from Annex L of Circular 4/2018, and “Total 2017-18 Revenue) figures from Annex K of Circular 1/2017.
|£m||2017-18 (cash)||2018-19 (cash)||Cash change||Cash change %||2018-19 (real)||Real change||Real change %|
|Argyll & Bute||193.0||195.6||2.6||1.3%||192.8||-0.2||-0.1%|
|Dumfries & Galloway||279.9||286.4||6.4||2.3%||282.2||2.3||0.8%|
|Edinburgh, City of||706.8||723.3||16.5||2.3%||712.8||6.0||0.8%|
|Perth & Kinross||242.6||247.8||5.1||2.1%||244.2||1.5||0.6%|
This gives us our final overview of what local government funding from the Scottish Government in 2018 looks like, and at the time of writing it looks like all 32 Councils are likely to apply the full 3% Council Tax increase. We’ll be exploring the long-term trend in local government finance from 2013-14 to 2018-19 in an updated facts and figures briefing, due for publication later in spring.
Ailsa Burn-Murdoch, Senior Researcher, Financial Scrutiny Unit