Scottish local authority debt was £20.5bn in 2022

By Mark McSherry

Scotland’s local authorities made debt repayments of £553 million in 2021-22, and had total debt of £20.5 billion at March 31, 2022.

That’s according to figures on Scottish local government finance in 2021-22 from Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

“As they cover the period from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, they also reflect the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on local government finance in 2021-22,” said the Scottish Government.

Scottish local authorities’ net revenue expenditure in 2021-22 — the cost of delivering services — was £11.780 billion.

Education and Social Work were the services with highest net revenue expenditure, accounting for £5.867 billion and £3.817 billion respectively.

Local authorities incurred £3.341 billion of capital expenditure in 2021-22. Capital expenditure is expenditure that creates the buildings and infrastructure necessary to provide services, such as schools and roads.

Capital expenditure was predominantly financed by grants and contributions of £1.402 billion and borrowing of £1.441 billion.

Local authorities held £4.266 billion of usable reserves at March 31, 2022.