THE latest figures indicate a potential budget overspend of £1.7million by Pembrokeshire County Council.

A budget monitoring report for period five included regular specific grant income but one-off grants have not been accounted for unless there is certainty of receipt.

Cabinet member for finance Cllr Bob Kilmister said at Monday’s meeting (November 4) that the approved net expenditure budget for 2019-20 was £221.5m with the projected out turn at the end of the period five £223.2m.

Areas such as education and social services faced overspends and Cllr Kilmister said part of the issue was government funding.

Social service demands increased year on year, while “at the same time a national government has been making savings of £5billion on tax credits.”

“They haven’t passed a single penny of that over to us, they have been cashing in and passing the cost on to us and someone needs to come up with an answer to this,” said Cllr Kilmister, adding it was an issue for all local authorities.

Virements – or movement of funds – will be carried out within some social service departments to reflect changes in demand, the report adds.

Universal Credit has also had an impact on rent arrears and the Housing Revenue Account said Cllr Kilmister.

Cllr Michelle Bateman said there will be new staff employed to work closer with housing and detailed research done to see how the arrears are allocated.

“The moratorium on non-essential expenditure has continued during 2019-20 and all directors, heads of service and service managers have been instructed to look again at their cost reductions, efficiency savings, and transformational opportunities to bring the budget back to equilibrium,” added Cllr Kilmister.

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