Birmingham City Council is to shed hundreds of jobs in a bid to tackle a £2.2bn deficit.
The equivalent of 800 full-time posts will go at what is the second largest local authority in Europe.
Council leader Mike Whitby told the BBC Politics Show the losses would be achieved by not refilling vacancies and through natural wastage.
He said the deficit had doubled over the last five years. Unions have not yet commented on the issue.
Mr Whitby said it was "no shock" that Birmingham, as the UK's largest local authority, had a large debt to service.
"What is important is how we manage it," he said.