What price Kirsty’s conversion to Labour?
The First Minister was today challenged to outline the "significant budget implications" he expected as a result of his decision to tie up a deal with the Welsh Lib Dems. The deal includes formal agreement on the delivery of nine specific education pledges – including expansion of the pupil premium, and reducing class sizes.
The revelation was contained in a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, conveniently published on the day of the EU referendum.
In the letter, new Cabinet Secretary for Education – Kirsty Williams AM – says:
"I have emphasised in our discussions that a number of these priorities have significant budget implications and will need to be reflected as the government’s forward budget plans take shape".
Speaking outside the Chamber today, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives – Andrew RT Davies – urged the First Minister to publish spending plans related to the deal, and challenged the First Minister to reveal where budget cuts would pall to pay for the new commitments.
Speaking outside the Senedd, Mr Davies said:
"The Welsh Government rather cynically slipped these letters into the public domain on the day of the EU referendum, but the First Minister must now come forward with detailed costings for these proposals.
"During the Assembly Elections, Carwyn Jones insisted that every new commitment in this administration would have to be paid for by a cutback somewhere else. We are nine weeks into the new Assembly term and he needs to outline exactly where exactly the axe is going to fall.
"It’s only right that the public are fully aware of the price they are paying for this deal.
"What schemes or projects are going to be sacrificed to pay for Kirsty Williams’ conversion to the Labour cause?"