Finance and Budget Committee Policy. Overview of Long-Term Financial Plan and Revenue Budget 2014/15 update

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1 Finance and Budget Committee Policy Development and Review Sub-Committee 2pm, Wednesday 24 April 2013 Overview of Long-Term Financial Plan and Revenue Budget 2014/15 update Item number Report number Wards Links Coalition pledges Council outcomes Single Outcome Agreement P30 CO25 All Alastair D Maclean Director of Corporate Governance Contact: Hugh Dunn, Head of Finance Tel:

2 Executive summary Overview of Long-Term Financial Plan and Revenue Budget 2014/15 update Summary The Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP) forms the foundation of the Council s medium- to longer-term financial strategy. The report provides a summary of the main expenditure and income factors captured within the plan and advises as to a number of further workstreams being taken forward to identify additional savings opportunities for delivery in 2014/15 and future years. Recommendations Members of the Finance and Budget Committee Policy Development and Review Sub- Committee are asked to note: (i) (ii) (iii) the current assumptions contained within the Plan; the updated projected position over the period of the Budget Framework and that further progress updates on the overall position will be reported to subsequent meetings of the Finance and Budget Committee. Measures of success Accurate capturing of the cost implications of the principal drivers of demand and sources of income, allowing a balanced overall budget to be set. Financial impact There are no direct implications arising from the report s contents but maintenance of the LTFP contributes to effective financial planning and management. Equalities impact There is no direct equalities impact arising from the report s contents. Page 2 of 11

3 Sustainability impact There are no impacts on carbon, adaptation to climate change and sustainable development arising directly from this report. Consultation and engagement As the LTFP serves as the foundation from which budget savings proposals are then developed, there is no direct consultation and engagement on this aspect. The resulting budget proposals will, however, be subject to full stakeholder engagement and consultation upon publication of the Draft 2014/15 Budget Framework in September Background reading / external references Long-Term Financial Plan, Finance and Resources Committee, 27 October 2009 Capital Coalition Draft Revenue Budget Framework, , Finance and Budget Committee, 15 November 2012 Revenue Budget 2013/14 - Update, Finance and Budget Committee, 30 January 2013 Capital Coalition Budget Motion as adjusted, City of Edinburgh Council, 7 February 2013 Budget Framework 2014/ /18 - Financial Outlook, Finance and Budget Committee, 21 March 2013 Page 3 of 11

4 Report Overview of Long-Term Financial Plan and Revenue Budget 2014/15 update 1. Background 1.1 In October 2009, the Council became one of the first local authorities in Scotland to introduce a long-term financial plan (LTFP). The plan captures the financial implications of changes in key determinants of the Council s need to spend and compares these to the projected level of resources available to fund this need. In addition to representing good practice, establishing the LTFP as the foundation of the Council s financial planning at this time represented a recognition of the combined impact of increasing service demand in many areas, particularly as a result of demographic trends, and prospective real-terms reductions in funding. The approach thus allowed options to address increasing savings requirements to be considered within a medium- to longer-term planning timeframe. 1.2 Subsequent demographic and societal changes, alongside a succession of realterms reductions in funding that are expected to continue until at least 2017/18, have borne out the appropriateness of adopting a longer-term view to the Council s financial planning. The LTFP is, however, an evolving model, being regularly reviewed and updated as new information becomes available. The following sections of this report therefore set out the key elements contained within the Plan and identify a number of areas requiring to be considered in updating the model for next and future years budget processes. While the LTFP deals with revenue expenditure and income, a brief overview of longerterm capital financial planning is also provided. 1.3 Additional detail in a number of the areas discussed within this report was provided in the earlier Financial Outlook 2014/15 to 2017/18 report considered by the Finance and Budget Committee on 21 March. The main focus of this report is therefore on confirmed, or anticipated, changes that have emerged since finalisation of that report, most notably those arising from the Chancellor of the Exchequer s Budget Statement on 20 March. 1.4 In the context of setting next and future years budgets, it is also important to emphasise that while the LTFP inevitably reflects the financial impact of past decisions, it is essentially concerned with informing the level of savings requiring to be identified going forward and not how this gap is then addressed. The report does, however, provide an update on relevant initiatives being taken forward and the associated financial impact. Page 4 of 11

5 2. Main report 2.1 At any given time, the starting point for the LTFP is the current year s approved revenue budget. This, by definition, sees budgeted expenditure matched by budgeted income. Projected changes in expenditure and income are then expressed relative to this baseline position. Overall projected savings requirement 2.2 Over the period covered by the Budget Framework, there is a consistent trend insofar as the projected annual increase in expenditure exceeds any additional resources available. In cumulative terms, taking into account the savings implicit in the transformation, efficiency and income-generating options approved as part of the Budget Framework in February 2013, the position reported to the Finance and Budget Committee of 21 March points to a residual funding gap of some 81.6 million over the four years to 2017/ The overall funding gap of 81.6m represents a combination of three distinct elements within the LTFP, namely changes in assumed expenditure ( 126.7m), with these offset by assumed additional income ( 19.5m) and savings approved within the Draft Budget Framework ( 25.6m). Expenditure pressures 2.4 Analysis of the 126.7m of expenditure pressures over the period to 2017/18 provides an effective overview of the main factors captured within the LTFP. These factors are: (i) (ii) employee cost-related ( 63m), primarily comprising provision for pay awards, residual funding requirements and/or savings resulting from implementation of Modernising Pay arrangements and for the loss of the existing employer s National Insurance rebate upon creation of a singletier state pension. The Chancellor s Budget Statement indicated that this change will now take place in April Existing provision within the LTFP is based on an earlier assumed phased introduction from April It is proposed that this provision be retained at this time both to recognise the potential for implementation to be brought forward and the extent of risks underpinning other elements of the Budget Framework. The amount of each of these provisions is informed by analysis of the impact of inflationary projections, national pay policy and legislative change on the overall costs of the Council s workforce; inflation-related ( 25.2m), including additional sums for care home fees and other specified purchasing-related inflation, increases in business rates linked to changes in the national poundage and liabilities arising from the Council s ICT and PPP contracts. These provisions are Page 5 of 11

6 calculated with reference to forward inflationary projections modified, where appropriate, by specific contractual commitments; (iii) demographic-related ( 42.5m, of which 36.1m is specifically identified as demographic funding, with the remainder implicit in approved transformation and efficiency options). This overall figure includes additional sums arising from increasing numbers, and complexity of need, of the elderly, adults with learning and/or physical disabilities, at-risk children and, more recently, pupil numbers. An element of provision is also included to reflect the service impact of welfare reform changes. The appropriateness of the current level of demographic provision will be reviewed to take cognisance of the results of the 2011 Census (referred to at 2.12 below). 2.5 The overall level of provision included for demographic factors is calculated with reference to a range of sources. In some cases, such as vulnerable children and adults with learning and/or physical disabilities, extrapolation of past trends, combined with other empirical evidence, is employed to inform future forecasts of demand. In other areas, including early years, school education and older people s services, population projections, supplemented where relevant by school census results, are used. 2.6 Estimates in other areas are more specific; the extent of additional financial provision for homelessness services required from December 2012 was, for example, calculated with reference to the best-estimate of the increase in demand that would result from the abolition of priority need tests in homelessness assessments as of that date. At this stage, provisions for the cost impacts of welfare reform changes are, by necessity, more general but will be refined as additional details of the changes emerge. 2.7 These pressures are offset by net projected reductions in other areas of expenditure of 4m, resulting in an overall estimated increase of 126.7m. This sum does, however, include provision for the following: (i) (ii) increased contributions to the Early Years/Early Intervention and Older People s Change Funds in accordance with relevant national agreements, with this level of provision (some 6.8m in total) assumed to be baselined beyond the period of the current Finance Settlement. Assumptions beyond 2014/15 will be kept under review in the light of Scottish Government policy, partner financial contributions and the level of ongoing commitment assumed within relevant service areas; funding support for the Edinburgh Tram project in accordance with the revised business case outlined in the August 2011 report to Council. Discussions to finalise the operating agreement are continuing; any resulting change to existing assumptions will be reported to members and reflected as appropriate within the LTFP; Page 6 of 11

7 (iii) an assumed on-going annual contribution of 3.5m to meet the Council s proportionate share of the total Scotland-wide quantum of funding required to maintain benefit entitlement at current levels for the newly-introduced Council Tax Reduction Scheme. In 2013/14, the Scottish Government has agreed to provide funding of 23m of an estimated total shortfall of 40m, with local authorities contributing the remaining 17m. In the absence of a funded scheme beyond 2013/14, the LTFP therefore currently assumes a proportionate share of the full 40m. The overall adequacy of funding in this area will, however, also be influenced by actual take-up of the scheme. Income assumptions 2.8 Over the remaining period of the Budget Framework, additional income of 19.5m is currently assumed, comprising a 7.8m (1.1%) increase in Government funding support and a 11.7m (5.4%) increase in Council Tax income. Each of these assumptions, however, is subject to a number of risks. 2.9 The level of grant support for 2014/15 was advised as part of the Local Government Settlement in December There is nonetheless the potential for the Council s allocation to change given the Chancellor of the Exchequer s subsequent decisions to boost capital expenditure through application of additional efficiency requirements to revenue budgets, an element of which feeds through to Scotland through Barnett Consequentials. Officers will liaise with colleagues in COSLA and the Scottish Government in keeping the position under review Beyond the next financial year, there is considerably greater uncertainty, with assumptions within the LTFP aligned to best-available projections of public expenditure and changes in the national business rates poundage. Research undertaken by both the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR) and Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) points, in particular, to the potential for further reductions to be applied to levels of public expenditure in 2016/17 and 2017/18. While the level of grant funding that ultimately feeds through to the Council is the product of a multitude of factors 1, there is thus the potential for the level of assumed grant funding, particularly in 2017/18 and subsequent years, to be revised substantially downwards Members will be aware that the Council received substantial additional funding in 2012/13 as a consequence of the Scottish Government s decision that no 1 Relevant factors include the UK Government s fiscal policy to reduce the national deficit (i.e. the relative balance between applying reductions to public expenditure and increasing taxation), the areas to which changes in public expenditure are applied (affecting Barnett Consequentials which, in turn, influence the level of Scottish block grant) and the relative balance of funding across the health, local government and central government sectors as determined by the Scottish Government. Page 7 of 11

8 local authority should receive less than 85% of the per capita average level of revenue grant support. While the Council s grant allocations for 2013/14 and 2014/15 reflect application of this policy (resulting in the receipt of an additional 23m in each year), there is no guarantee, particularly beyond the term of the current Scottish Government, of its continuation As the 85% rule is based on per capita levels of grant support, the city s actual population also plays a key role in determining the level of additional funding support provided through application of the policy. In this regard, modelling work is continuing to assess how the emerging results of the 2011 Census might influence the calculation. These results indicate that, in contrast to the position for Scotland as a whole which showed a 0.8% understatement of population relative to the 2011 estimate, Edinburgh s population was overstated by 3.9% As the main differences in population relative to earlier forecasts were in the working-age cohorts where the level of per capita grant funding support per is lower, this is unlikely to result in a similar proportionate loss of funding, whilst also reducing an element of demand-led expenditure. There is, nonetheless, the potential for a proportion of the additional funding received under the 85% rule to be lost beyond 2014/15 as the Council s per capita level of grant funding will increase as a result of previous apparent overestimates of population growth in the city The largest element of the increase in projected Council Tax income occurs in 2017/18. This reflects an assumed ending of the current Council Tax freeze with effect from the beginning of the next Scottish Parliamentary session. The validity of this assumption, in common with others related to Scottish Government policy, will be kept under active review Taking into account relevant measures approved as part of the Budget Framework in February 2013, the LTFP now reflects an assumed overall Council Tax collection rate close to 97%. In view of current collection rates and the ongoing difficult economic climate, this represents a challenging target and, in common with other projections of demand for, and income from, Council services, will be regularly monitored as welfare reform changes take effect. Potential further savings opportunities 2.16 As outlined in the report s introduction, the LTFP is best seen as the foundation upon which opportunities for required financial savings are then explored. In conjunction with establishing the overall savings requirement, however, work to examine potential areas of savings is continuing Members will be aware of the role of procurement in addressing the Council s financial challenges; building on the 9m approved for delivery in 2013/14, a further 41m has been targeted over the remaining period of the Budget Page 8 of 11

9 Framework. The Budget Framework also assumes recurring savings resulting from the review and rationalisation of the Council s property estate of 5m by 2015/16; these savings are additional to those previously approved by Council or implicit in the ipfm internal improvement plan Employee costs represent more than 40% of the Council s overall expenditure and it is clear that a significant element of its savings requirement will need to be delivered in this area. A dedicated work stream is being established to examine a number of savings options, with a target to realise a reduction of around 1% of current spend (equating to 5m) in 2014/15. All proposals developed in this area will be the subject of discussion with Trade Unions The Budget Framework considered by the Finance and Budget Committee in November 2012 included an assumed 30m of savings by 2016/17 through examination of options around cross-cutting, Council-wide activity termed strategic enablers. Current work is focusing on two of the specific areas previously identified for further examination: (i) realignment of activity and investment towards prevention and early intervention and (ii) exploring opportunities to realise savings from adult health and social care integration effective from April Although in each case work remains at an early stage, the planning assumption for the early intervention and prevention workstream is that around 10% of existing additional annual investment for demography within the LTFP can be released through re-orientating activity towards proactive, rather than reactive, services. For health integration, an efficiency target equal to 2% of the existing relevant Health and Social Care budget, some 3.6m, has been targeted for delivery in 2014/15, with further incremental savings equal to 1% of the current budget in each of the following years Taken together, the effect of these additional savings is shown in Appendix 1. Members will note that, relative to the position considered at the Finance and Budget Committee on 21 March, a small surplus is now projected for 2014/15, whereas a larger gap is shown for each of the following years. This position reflects the net difference between the savings targeted from the two specific work streams outlined above and the indicative figure for strategic enabler savings previously included within the Framework pending detailed scoping work While a modest surplus is indicated for 2014/15, attainment of this position is subject to a number of significant risks and full delivery of the savings approved within the Budget Framework, particularly those in respect of procurement, property rationalisation and the internal improvement plans for the services within the scope of the Alternative Business Models project. Substantial (and increasing) on-going savings predicated on transformational investment in 2013/14, particularly in the areas of increasing the Council s own fostering capacity, were also approved by Council in February Given the Page 9 of 11

10 substantial level of savings already underpinning the 2013/14 approved budget, the current year s revenue monitoring places additional emphasis on tracking the delivery of savings associated with these transformational projects The financial impact of welfare reform changes, including the potential for both increased demand for services and reduced income streams, will also be kept under review and reflected as appropriate within the LTFP. Capital expenditure and income 2.24 Capital expenditure is primarily funded through a combination of capital grant (both specific and general), capital receipts from asset and property sales and borrowing. Sums realised through capital receipts are likely to continue at historically-low levels for the foreseeable future. The affordability of additional borrowing not specifically tied to recurring revenue savings also needs to be considered within the confines of substantial pressures on service budgets While the precise level of capital funding provided by the Scottish Government is subject to similar uncertainties as for revenue allocations, as a result of a substantial backlog, in overall terms it is clear that service needs will increasingly exceed available resources. As such, prioritisation of investment and ongoing exploration of opportunities to supplement resource levels through innovative new funding sources will continue to be required. 3. Recommendations 3.1 Members of the Finance and Budget Committee Policy Development and Review Subcommittee are asked to note: the current assumptions contained within the Plan; the updated projected position over the period of the Budget Framework and that further progress updates on the overall position will be reported to subsequent meetings of the Finance and Budget Committee. Alastair D Maclean Director of Corporate Governance Links Coalition pledges Council outcomes P30 - Continue to maintain a sound financial position including long-term financial planning CO25 The Council has efficient and effective services that deliver on agreed objectives Page 10 of 11

11 Single Outcome Agreement SO1 Edinburgh s economy delivers increased investment, jobs and opportunities for all SO2 Edinburgh s citizens experience improved health and wellbeing, with reduced inequalities in health SO3 Edinburgh s children and young people enjoy their childhood and fulfil their potential SO4 Edinburgh s communities are safer and have improved physical and social fabric Appendices Appendix 1 Revenue Budget Framework Key Assumptions, 2014/15 to 2017/18 April Update Page 11 of 11

12 Appendix 1 REVENUE BUDGET FRAMEWORK - KEY ASSUMPTIONS, 2014/15 TO 2017/18 - APRIL UPDATE (Figures are stated on a cumulative basis relative to the 2013/14 baseline) 2014/ / / / Employee-related (including provision for pay award, changes in National Insurance liabilities and Modernising Pay) 14,053 32,142 50,102 63,023 Other inflation-related (including purchasing inflation, BT and PPP contract uplifts, care home fees, Non-Domestic Rates) 5,899 12,250 18,819 25,203 Demography-related (including additional funded sums for demographic and other pressures identified through Service Cost Model or within service options) 11,554 22,094 32,889 42,491 Other expenditure changes (net figure) 3,371 (1,958) (1,975) (3,975) Changes in assumed income (2,118) (4,605) (7,461) (19,483) TOTAL NET SAVINGS REQUIREMENT 32,759 59,923 92, ,259 Procurement savings (11,000) (21,000) (31,000) (41,000) Workforce management (5,000) (5,000) (5,000) (5,000) Early intervention and prevention / Health integration (4,950) (7,800) (10,600) (13,400) Property rationalisation (5,000) (5,000) (5,000) (5,000) Other (7,350) (14,458) (21,920) (25,654) PROJECTED DEFICIT / (SURPLUS) (541) 6,665 18,854 17,205

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