Scottish councils’ debt is one-and-a-half times funding

By Ellie Ames | 08 April 2024

The debt of councils in Scotland is more than one-and-a-half times the latest local government funding settlement, the Scottish Conservatives have found.

Local authority debt in the devolved nation has reached £21.8bn, compared to around £14bn allocated to councils for 2024-25.

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Liz Smith said the situation was ‘eye-watering’ and ‘unsustainable’.

She warned Holyrood's recent council tax freeze meant debt was likely to grow.

Ms Smith said: ‘It’s only a matter of time before a Scottish council goes bust unless the SNP Government finally agrees to a fair funding deal.’

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘Ministers are aware that many councils are under financial pressure, which is why the 2024-25 Scottish Budget provides record funding for local government of over £14bn.’

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Budgets and efficiency Council Tax Scotland Funding Debt