Publication: Local government budgets 2024/25

by Accounts Commission

Challenges ahead for Scotland's councils to balance the books

Scotland's councils are facing a significant gap in the money needed to deliver local services and the money they have available.

Together, all 32 councils have a gap of £585 million. This is estimated to increase to £780 million by 2026/27.

This means councils will have to make increasingly difficult decisions about how councils are run, how they can deliver services and what services can continue.

An error was identified in paragraph 35 of the report and the data has been corrected on 21 May 2024.

Main report
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- pdf
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539.23 KB

All files

News release
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128.54 KB
Animation transcript
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- rtf
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102.05 KB
Council budget gaps 2024/25 as described in the main report
Exhibit 2: Council budget gaps 2024/25
Councils’ bridging actions to set their 2024/25 budget
Exhibit 4: Councils' bridging actions

Councils have to deliver significant savings

As they do this, they must fully engage with local people and be clear about the different and difficult budget choices. Councils must understand the impacts on the most vulnerable people in our communities.

There has been significant public opposition in some council areas to cuts to services, with new and increased charges also affecting people.

It's getting harder for councils to do more with less.

They have to find and then deliver significant levels of savings to address budget gaps.

Derek Yule Member of the Accounts Commission 


Key facts from our report

A transcript of this video is available to download with the other files on this page.


Scottish Budget local government revenue settlement 2023/24 and 2024/25
Exhibit 1
Council budget gaps 2024/25
Exhibit 2
Budget gaps for 2024/25 as a percentage of revenue budget
Exhibit 3
Councils’ bridging actions to set their 2024/25 budget
Exhibit 4
Councils’ projected budget gaps to 2026/27
Exhibit 5
Sources of capital finance, 2024/25 compared to 2023/24
Exhibit 6