Edinburgh's budget challenge - your city, your say

The Council has responded to ideas received as part of this challenge. You can read more on the Consultation Hub.


Most of the Council’s budget comes in form of rates from businesses and a block grant from the Scottish Government that is paid for through general taxation. All Scottish Councils raise revenue through Council Tax. In addition to these kinds of income, the Council charges for some services.

Charges help the Council to deliver some services which would not otherwise be affordable. Charges can be set at different levels to discourage undesirable behaviour – such a driving a car to a busy city centre – or encourage positive behaviour – discounted gym memberships may encourage people to exercise.

The Council charges in a variety of ways, including:

  • Point of sale or admission, e.g. temporary exhibits and school meals
  • Up-front fees for services, e.g. licence applications, and parking permits
  • Services billed after they have been provided, e.g. pest control
  • Services where only some of the cost is paid by the user, depending on their ability to pay, e.g. non-residential care services

The Council does not have complete freedom to charge for services. Charges in many areas are subject to legislation and national guidelines. Common principles behind these guidelines are that charges should be reasonable and take account of the service user’s ability to pay. In some cases the charge is capped so that it cannot exceed the cost of providing the service. And of course most Council services are provided with no direct charge. 

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