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Your Future Highland: Have Your Say - Budget 2024/25


Highland Council is facing the same financial challenge as other public sector agencies and you as individuals, are facing – increasing costs, increasing demand for services and inflation mean that we expect our budget to decrease in the next three years. With less money, we want to focus our resources on key priorities.

Every year the Council must decide whether to reduce our costs, to increase our income or a mixture of both. To help us shape our budget, we want to understand your priorities and where you would make savings.

Our Budget Simulator allows you to make choices to balance the Council’s budget. These are not proposals but a way of gathering ideas and understanding priorities.  What services matter to you most?  Which services do you think we should protect? Which services do you think we could reduce?


How to use the Simulator

The Simulator is easy to use.  If you choose to reduce any area of spend, the Simulator will tell you what the impact will be; the greater the % reduction, the greater the impact.

You can also choose to increase income by increasing the charges for services and you can also choose to increase Council Tax.  Council Tax is set every year by Councils and is used to help balance the Council’s budget.  You can also choose to do this in the Simulator.

The Simulator also allows you to choose to increase the spend on certain services. However, if the spend is increased in any area, that will mean a greater overall sum will be needed to balance the budget, with more reductions elsewhere.

For the purposes of the Simulator, we have removed the amount the Council has to pay in loan charges every year for borrowing to build things.  This is set by the bank and must be paid.  The total budget to reduce is therefore £651.9m. The Simulator focuses on the Budget for 2024/25 where the estimated gap is £61.7m.  This is the figure you have to aim for to balance the Budget.

Please note that you need to work through all the categories on the left hand side and balance your budget before you have the opportunity to review and submit your budget.

At the end you will have the chance to make suggestions, add comments or ask questions.


This is your opportunity to have your say – help us to balance our budget!

User Information:

  • Click on the i icon next to the service title on each page to find out more about what that service delivers. Once you have read this information, use the on the top right of the screen to return to the simulator.
  • Click on the more option to the right of each slider to see what the impact would be as you reduce the budget for that area. Once you have read this information, use the on the top right of the screen to return to the simulator.
  • Please note that a small tolerance has been added to make the tool easier to use. This means if you are slightly short in balancing your Budget, you will still be able to submit your budget. This is why you may still have a small amount remaining in the Budget Gap.


Disclaimer: The consequences presented in this priority simulator tool are indicative and based on our current modelling of budgets. It should be understood that these models will evolve once there is greater clarity from Scottish Government about our budget and feedback from the public has been factored in to our planning.

For further information on the Council’s Budget and how the Budget is made up, please go to:

Create your Budget