I NOTE with sadness the virus has caused Powys County Council to forecast a £13m deficit for the current financial year to 31 March 2021 (County Times 31 July).

The council were reluctant to furlough workers, at the start of the pandemic and a Freedom of Information request, will eventually elicit how many were furloughed.

Many private sector workers will soon lose their jobs. Others, self-employed will have lost their businesses and/or at least half a year’s income.

Is it unreasonable to ask the county council to look carefully at those activities, which are no longer sustainable under the new normal?

The shedding of some 10 per cent of the workforce, say 500 jobs, would probably, with a pay freeze for a year, sensibly eliminate the £13m deficit, and allow the remaining 90 per cent of council staff to justifiably retain their employment.

Realism has to come to the fore, rather than use up council reserves or resort to Council Tax payers once again, with a rise in 2018/19 of 9.5 per cent, far in excess of the rate of inflation, currently standing at 1 per cent for many cash-strapped Powys families.

Remember Council Tax is paid out of income, that has already been taxed by national government.

A slimmed down by necessity tax base, from the private sector, should not be called upon to support an obese and bloated public sector.

This is surely something our Prime Minister would recognise.

If he, and his minions in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast fails to grasp this, they fail us all.

Bruce Lawson,