Your article (Sentinel-Times, April 5) titled ‘Projected $5m surplus for council’ reads like good news for those of us in the South Gippsland Shire and I guess most don’t bother reading any further, let alone try to make sense of it – I’m trying.

Is the surplus only due to the (almost) $10m decrease in projected capital works the article mentions?

Also, the article goes on: “The operating result shows the deficit as at December 31 is unfavourable to the forecast by $0.55m. This variance is attributed to an overspend in employee costs across all areas of $0.82m due to grant-funded labour costs including Working for Victoria and payment for the MAV Workcover Scheme.”

So, does this almost $1 million overspend come from being short-changed by the government or failures by our council?

Be nice to be able to make sense of these figures and not just assume more waste of public money is taking place.

Cr Gilligan is reported to say “that council will need to frugal and strategic as it develops a new council plan and budget”.

Hey, if there is a $5m surplus, ratepayers should receive a reduction in council rates!

Steve Finlay, Leongatha.