by Kenneth Gibb and Linda Christie
Local Government's spending share of the Scottish public sector (2015-16 figures) was 32.2% or 36.0% if nationalised police and fire are added back in (Campbell, 2015).
Local government in Scotland has £39 billion in assets and £14.8 billion of debt (Mitchell, 2015).
For 2013-14, the Commission on Local Tax Reform (CLTR) estimated that Band H properties (which pay three times the tax of properties in Band A) were worth on average fifteen times more than those in B and A.
The average Band D council tax for 2013-14 was £1,149 and levels varied from £1,024 in the Western Isles (Eilean Siar) to £1,230 in Aberdeen city, though the distribution of payments is fairly compressed across the 32 authorities.
Three in five dwellings (2013) were in the bottom three council tax bands and just 13% were in the top three bands (and only 1% in the highest band).
A third of local government spending goes on education, just over a quarter on social work and 16% supports housing costs through housing benefit payments (CLTR final report).
The annual cost of the council tax freeze has risen from £70 million in 2008-09 to £630 million in 2016-17 (i.e. an extra £70 million per annum on top of the previous year's cost) - more than £3 billion cumulatively.
The central government share of local government funding has varied from 88.6% in 2010-11 to 82.8% in 2005-06; it was 83.3% in the most recent year for these figures (2013-14). The residual, largely council tax, is the local share and has varied from 11.4% in 2010-11 to 17.2% in 2005-06. In 2013-14 it was at 16.7%.
CLTR estimate that, if a revaluation took place, as many as 57% of properties would now be in the wrong Council Tax bands.
For the full chapter, please see: Gibb, K. & Christie, L. (2017) Local Government Finance. In Gibb, K., Maclennan, D., McNulty, K., & Comerford, M. (eds) Scottish Economy - A Living Book. London: Routledge. Available via this link.
Table 18.1: Local Council Tax Bands
- Data comes from CIPFA Scotland and the Scottish Government's website on Council Tax