There was such a blizzard of figures and statistics at KCC's press conference to launch its budget that it was tricky to determine just what the full implications of the ruling administration's spending plans actually might be. (There wasn't an awful lot of time to read through the 218-page book on the budget amid the Powerpoint presentations and videos).
The key messages were that KCC is to become a leaner and more "entrepeneurial" organisation that would be resolutely "driving out efficiency savings" - a phrase that always conjures up an image of profligate bureaucrats being shepherded across a bridge and harried relentlessly to cut costs.
The other top line being pushed by KCC was that it was delivering a budget that, despite being cut by £95m, safeguarded core frontline services.
Indeed, council leader Paul Carter challenged anyone to discover whether there were any services that the council currently provides but wouldn't be from April, when the new financial year gets underway.
Quite how much 'leaner' KCC intends to get was a little hard to pin down as it emerged during the press conference that it doesn't yet know how many jobs will go and how many posts will be axed as part of the 1,500 expected to disappear between now and 2014.
There was also a lot of rhetoric about the council delivering services in new and different and 'innovative' ways (interestingly, there's £5m being set aside for a 'Big Society' bank) but frankly, there wasn't a huge amount of detail offered on this either so it's hard to make a judgement at this point.
I suppose a lot depends on how residents feel the impact of KCC's savings package. Take the issue of the Freedom Pass, for example. It is not being cut (it was apparently considered) but the administration fee is doubling to £100.
True, there are safeguards for those on free school meals who will continue to pay £50 and looked after children will pay nothing but I imagine there will be quite a lot of parents with more than one child who will baulk at having to write a cheque for £200-£300 in the current climate. I don't dissent from KCC's view that the pass has been a great success (possibly too successful) but some may see the hike as rather opportunistic - it's not as if the process of administering the fee has changed to become more burdensome on the authority.
And those who rely on rural buses to get them out and about may find they no longer run if KCC proceeds with a plan to withdraw £629,000 from "socially necessary but uneconomic bus routes that provide the least added value."
A cut? I suppose that given that KCC will continue to subsidise other bus routes, then no - but a saving that will reduce services, nevertheless.
As ever, the devil is in the detail. Here are a few other ways in which KCC will be saving money that I've spotted:
£200,000 less on members’ allowances
£123,000 cut on budget for 'Around Kent' magazine
£100,000 less on public consultation
£300,000 less on £2m book fund for libraries
£231,000 less spent on maintaining public footpaths
£280,000 less on waste recycling centres
£2.25million saving on "reviewing terms and conditions of employment."
If some of the rhetoric about the budget announcement had a familiar ring to it, it may be because similar language was used when KCC made its budget announcement last year.
A press release issued then described how "the council has focused upon ensuring the organisation is lean, flexible and ready to respond to the future financial restraint" and "it is notable that the proposals published today have little impact on frontline services, with savings focusing upon further efficiencies and innovative approaches to delivery."
Still, good to see a commitment to recycling.