CHAPTER 27: LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Table 27.01 Detailed Spending Plans 2008-11 1
Resource Grants 2
Non-Domestic Rates ( NDR) and Other AME Grants 3
Support for Capital 2
1. The budget figures for 2007-08 do not appear in one location in the 2007-08 Draft Budget as expenditure was spread over most portfolios. The 2007-08 local government resource and capital figures include all the baselined, ongoing, ring-fenced grants previously administered and included in the relevant portfolio chapters within the previous Draft Budget documents.
2. Some funding streams within the total support provided to local government will continue as Specific Resource or Capital Grants. A full breakdown of these will be provided following the conclusion of further consultation with local government.
3. The NDR figures are estimates. Firmer figures for each year will be confirmed when the poundage rates are available. Any change in the level of NDR income will not impact on the overall level of support local authorities will receive, which is confirmed. This figure also includes £8 million annually for central government support to local authority housing.
What the budget does
Local authorities have a key role in delivering frontline public services, including education, social work, police, fire, civil protection, roads, waste collection and disposal, environmental health, leisure and recreation, libraries, museums, burial grounds and crematoria, planning, consumer protection, registration of births, marriages and deaths, and money advice. These all contribute towards achieving the Scottish Government's Purpose and the five Strategic Objectives. The funding provided to local government will contribute to improving the delivery of public services, including workforce development. It also promotes local democracy.
We will continue to take forward an efficiency programme with local government, as with all other areas of the public sector across Scotland, to help deliver improved frontline services for everyone working and living in Scotland. We will also ensure that local government makes arrangements to provide Best Value in the effective management and delivery of services.
In 2008-09, the total package of funding of £11,137.3 million will be focused on contributing to delivering the Scottish Government's Purpose and five Strategic Objectives, and in particular progress towards the outcomes and objectives set out previously. This package consists of:
- a general Capital Grant which is provided to Scotland's local authorities as a block grant;
- a general Resource Grant which is provided to Scotland's local authorities as a block grant;
- the Specific Resource and Capital Grants that will continue; and
- Non-Domestic Rate Income, collected by local authorities, paid into a central pool and redistributed to each local authority in proportion to its population.
The Scottish Government guarantees the combined General Resource Grant/Non-Domestic Rate Income figure, approved by Parliament, to each local authority. A drop in Non-Domestic Rate Income is compensated for by an increase in General Resource Grant and vice versa.
The local government resource and capital budget now represents the total funding provided by the Scottish Government to local government. The 2008-09 budget represents an increase of £371.6 million in resource and £114.6 million in capital over the comparable figures for 2007-08. This increased funding will help fund the Scottish Government's key priorities for local government in 2008-09.
The key change in the local government budget is the inclusion in table 27.01 above, for the first time, of all specific revenue and capital grants that were previously recorded separately from the core local government finance settlement. As part of a move to outcome agreements, it is expected that the levels of ring-fenced specific grant funding streams and regulation will be substantially reduced. The sums released will be provided as general resource and capital grant. This, in turn, provides local authorities with much more flexibility in allocating resources to frontline services taking into account local circumstances and priorities. Further details of the resource and capital funding streams that will continue as specific grants will be confirmed following further consultation with local government.
In addition, funding will be transferred from the Enterprise Networks budgets in respect of their Business Gateway and local regeneration functions following further consultation with local government and the assignment of contracts.