Economic pressures and the ongoing impact of Covid-19 mean Haringey Council is forecast to spend £16 million more than expected during the current financial year.

The council will now look to make extra savings to address the budget pressure – described as “extremely concerning” in a report presented to a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

According to the report, adults’ and children’s social care account for £13.9m of the projected overspend “as they continue to be adversely impacted by the direct and indirect consequences of the [Covid-19] pandemic on demand as well as [the] increased cost of placements”.

The report says identifying “mitigations” in these services will be “challenging”, but senior officers are working to reduce demand while “meeting needs through innovative and efficient ways”. It comes against a backdrop of rising inflation and interest rates, with inflation in particular having “very real impacts on both revenue and capital expenditure and plans”.

Sarah Williams, cabinet member for finance and local investment, told the meeting that with economic pressures looking unlikely to abate “we must ensure we maximise the delivery of our challenging savings programme while focusing on mitigating actions that will bring down the current spend estimates”.

She added: “Directors have been tasked with revisiting all current plans and looking for options to contribute efficiencies as well as reassessing how they can gain more traction on the delivery of savings programmes.”

Within adult social care, the council is forecasting overspends on older people’s services, learning difficulties and mental health. The report says “substantial demand and activity has hit the system”, with “high-cost transition clients and high-complexity clients” adding to the pressure.

An increase in child protection work is contributing to the overspend on children’s services, with the rate of referrals to social care 24% higher than at the end of March. The service also has more children in need where the primary need is “families in acute stress”.

The report adds: “We are seeing inflationary pressures across SEN [special educational needs] transport driven by more children eligible for transport and rising fuel costs.”

Liberal Democrat leader Luke Cawley-Harrison asked if the council had the capacity to make further savings, which he said would be required because of the high rate of inflation. He also asked about the likely impact of the economic pressures on the council’s housebuilding programme.

Cllr Williams said directors were looking for further capacity to make savings but were “not there yet”. She added: “I don’t think it’s any secret that, clearly, with the economic situation as it is, new business models will have to be worked up for the capital projects, and those are works that are currently ongoing.”