Block grants and governmental grants

In the Nordic countries, the local authorities are responsible for administrating part of the social services and benefits provided. Local, regional and county authorities receive block grants and/or reimbursements from central government.

A block grant may be given as a general contribution or may be earmarked for specific functions. For example, it may be calculated based on the number of inhabitants and their age distribution, or according to the individual local authority’s tax base. Government reimbursement may be legally set as a percentage of local authority expenditure or as fixed amounts. It may also be calculated as the difference between expenditure and contributions from other sources, including local authority contributions.