Bumf, more of the same or progress?

At the beginning of the year the coalition government published a "candid" progress report - a "full and frank" mid-term review of how it was doing, which promises had been delivered, which were on their way to being delivered and which had been and would probably be broken. It was, said David Cameron, an "unvarnished" record of his government's actions. Others with a more critical eye saw "a list of activities" that said little the public would appreciate as useful.

You might imagine there was no getting away from being full and frank once an adviser had been photographed walking into Downing Street holding a document discussing the pros and cons of publishing at all, given the report that would reveal some difficult and problematic areas. Publish Mr Cameron did.

Now I've been around a few years and am yet to spot a single paparazzo hanging about outside Cathays Park, zoom lens in hand, waiting for that compromising photograph. As we were told pretty brutally last week, that sort of pressure has never been and won't be applied to Carwyn Jones' advisers any time soon. But the man who stood in the Senedd in May 2011 and pledged to put 'delivery' at the heart of his government knows that means he has to tell us exactly what he has delivered, and how he's doing.

He does it every year and this afternoon, if you're so minded, you can go online and spend many hours trawling through the Welsh government's Programme for Government, rooting about in areas of life that matter to you, gauging what's happened since last year to the pledges they made in 2011. I'll link to it once it goes live. What you'll see, says 'a critical friend' at the helm of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, is a "patchy" record.

What you won't be able to do is seek out targets, measurable targets, actual figures attached to percentage signs. That was not, if you remember, a road the Welsh government decided to travel. Indicators of success? Yes, aplenty. Targets? Nope.

The opposition parties have got their attacks in early. The Liberal Democrats dismissed what they called "bumf" and "another spin exercise." Carwyn Jones has delivered, said the Conservatives. the problem is, "he's delivered more of the same". They published their alternative Programme for Government, a list of things they would have spent on that this government has not - rather more on that, as you might expect, than what they would therefore have cut

We know already that Andrew RT Davies wouldn't protect free breakfasts for all those pupils who get it now - or as he put it, spend tax payers' money on allowing solicitors to drop of their kids early so they can go and earn thousands. We know too that free prescriptions for all would go. Those who can, would pay £5. Don't call us the nasty party, he said. "I can't help but think the real nasty party is the one who doesn't allow the cancer sufferer an extra few months with their family (by establishing a cancer drugs fund) but gives everyone the ability to walk in and get free headache pills."

He was talking about Labour, of course. Or to be more precise: Labour in Wales. Ed Balls' speech yesterday and his decided shift in emphasis on universal benefits didn't go unnoticed or unchallenged by Peter Hain and neither was it missed by Mr Davies. It was nice, he said, to see "an element of reality from London Labour" on the affordability and political justification for so-called 'freebies'. The penny has dropped in Scotland too, he said. Not here.

Pretty soon we'll know what the Chancellor's spending plans look like and what those will mean for the Welsh Government's budget. They expect a hefty cut, the sort that will force ministers to make politically painful in-year cuts, to slash the budgets of national bodies who've so far avoided the worst of the squeeze, to come down on local government spending as never before and even, suggests one source, to look some sacred cows in the eye - and shoot?

But that is to come. This afternoon we'll get a lot of graphs, comparators and benchmarks and some "commentary" from the government on how IT thinks it's doing. The problem, you suspect, is that Ministers know it's all about to get much, much more difficult.