These are indeed strange times at Westminster, following the resignation of Liz Truss as Prime Minister after a change of Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Either way, the warnings from Jeremy Hunt are clear — the government will need to find at least £60 billion in savings to fund its policies and shortfalls.

Those warnings come at a time when our own household budgets are being stretched to breaking point. Between inflation, higher mortgage costs and interest-rate increases, and with uncertainty over energy costs, petrol and the price and supply of the food in our shopping trollies each week, we are all keenly aware of our personal budgets this winter.

And then there is the issue of our council taxes. Our local authorities are not immune to the cost-of-living crisis. Their fiscal plans need to include higher costs, more expensive materials and rising energy bills. And there will be less money coming down the pipeline in funding from Whitehall or Cardiff Bay.

Already Carmarthenshire County Council is warning that it will need to find savings of £22 million for the next financial year.

As a best-case scenario, it will need to eke out savings of some £6 million, which is more than 50 per cent higher than previously expected. That £22 million shortfall is the worst-case scenario. Better to begin at least planning for it in the hope that it may not materialise, and anything less would be a bonus.

Councillors and officers will now work together to develop proposals but, after a decade of reducing its expenditure and unless significant funding is provided by the Westminster and Welsh governments, the council is warning it will have to cut some of its services.

No doubt the same scenario applies to all of our local authorities up and down Wales and, as taxpayers, we are faced with the reality that we will be paying more for less from our councils.

In Ceredigion in particular, that seems like a slap in the face.

No one likes having to pay more when there are serious failings in service delivery as things stand now.

The inevitable tax increases are harder to swallow given the 17 per cent pay increases awarded this spring to councillors. For what?