First Minister Carwyn Jones is in London this morning to raise his concern that welfare reforms aimed at encouraging benefit claimants to look for work will cause poverty that will hit Wales harder than any other part of the UK. Social security is not devolved but the First Minister argues that his government will have to deal with many of the consequences of the reforms.
The UK government regularly meets ministers from the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments to discuss such disagreements. The Joint Ministerial Committee, as it's known, is usually chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. Although today's talks are highly unlikely to change the UK government's position, they will form part of the Welsh Government's ongoing argument that it should be compensated for the financial consequences.
The Welsh government points to analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which suggests that tax and benefit changes will leave the average Welsh household 4.1% worse off by April 2014, compared with April 2010, a real terms drop in income of £1,110 a year. The figure for the UK as a whole is £1,170 but that only represents a 3.8% drop in income.
The UK government's argument is that people living on benefits but capable of work should be encouraged to move off welfare. In particular, single parents face 'significantly strengthened financial work incentives'. Only this week, single parents of five and six year old children have been switched from income support to jobseeker's allowance.
The charity Gingerbread estimates that more than 6,000 Welsh single parents are affected. It argues that a change meant to encourage them to find work will actually make it harder for them to get a job. Gingerbread argues that single parents often need to take a further education course when their children start school.
Another area of dispute is the devolution of council tax benefit. The Welsh government says it will not be able to find the money to meet any shortfall caused by more people falling into poverty and becoming eligible for the benefit. It has rejected calls from Plaid Cymru to guarantee that the benefit will be maintained in Wales.