Deal or no deal? Deal.
- 25 November 2011
- From the section Wales politics
A deal it was then - and the Welsh Lib Dem who hinted mid week that 'the coffee was on and can be smelled on the fifth floor' wasn't bragging.
Labour have bagged 5 votes and the certainty that their spending plans will now go through virtually unchanged on December 6th.
The Liberal Democrats get an extra £20 million to be spent on Wales' poorest pupils. The Pupil Deprivation Grant provides £450 for every child entitled to a free school meal - there were 70,802 in Wales in 2010/11. £280 of that is described this evening as "new money." It will go directly to schools who'll spend it on specific initiatives 'to help children reach their full potential'.
Kirsty Williams has also got Labour's agreement that her party will have a say in how any extra money the Welsh government gets as a result of George Osborne's Autumn Statement will be spent. That could, a Welsh government source suggested this evening, be a "hefty" sum.
What about the "Economic Stimulus Package of £38.9 million?" Labour know, the Lib Dems know, we all know that was money already earmarked to boost the economy.
But most valuable of all for the Welsh Lib Dems? A bit of political capital perhaps, an opportunity to be seen to be working with Labour, going some way towards delivering on a manifesto pledge and taking a chance to detoxify the brand a matter of months before local councillors go - nervously - to the polls.
Plaid Cymru have dismissed the deal as "cheap."
I spoke to one senior Welsh Conservative source this evening who used far blunter language. After some debate (this is the BBC after all) I won't quote directly but the suggestion was that, in the morning, Kirsty Williams will regret getting into bed with Labour.