With exactly half the seats in the Assembly, Labour needs at least one of the other parties to support its budget or abstain.
First Minister Carwyn Jones answers all sorts of questions at the podium
Sources close to the First Minister say his speech to Welsh Labour's conference in Llandudno will be highly personal.
Welsh Conservatives have criticised the First Minister for 'side-stepping' concerns about Hywel Dda Health Board's controversial plans to cope with this year's winter pressures. Opposition Leader Andrew RT Davies said:
Patients awaiting non-urgent orthopaedic surgery in mid and west Wales have been left in limbo – unsure if their appointments will be met on time and confused about the coming months.
Carwyn Jones’s legacy of NHS cuts and his failure to fill vacancies has led to this pressure on services, yet all he can do is side-step and dismiss the very real concerns of communities in the region.
It is clear from both the health board and UNISON that radical changes are being proposed and I am shocked and appalled that the First Minister refuses to acknowledge this.
– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition
The UK Government produced a winter pressures plan for hospitals at the end of the summer. In Wales, Labour has refused to do the same – forcing health boards into a corner.
I urge Mr Jones to recognise the health board’s plans, intervene, and safeguard orthopaedic surgery as soon as possible.
The First Minister has faced sustained criticism in the Assembly chamber from all three opposition party leaders over a health board's plans to cope with winter pressures. Hywel Dda health board says it will reschedule some non-urgent operations in order to focus on emergency surgery.
At First Minister's Questions, Carwyn Jones was criticised by the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrats who said the plans would lead to further worrying delays for patients. But Mr Jones said Hywel Dda's proposals stemmed from sensible planning:
– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales
We are planning for winter pressures. Local health boards are planning for an appropriate number of operations that create the capacity to deal with emergencies in the future.
The First Minister explains why he might consider breaking a manifesto commitment to start a shake-up of local councils before the next Welsh election. Carwyn Jones said there are increasing calls, including from within local government, for the re-organisation process to begin before 2016.
At his monthly press conference, Mr Jones, said any such move must wait until the Williams Commission on public services reports in a couple of months and would need cross-party support. He also said a bill paving the way for a shake-up would be unlikely to make it through the Assembly before 2016.
It's long been thought that the current number of Welsh local authorities - 22 - is unsustainable. This is the strongest signal yet that senior politicians are intending at least to start the ball rolling before 2016.
Carwyn Jones' comments about local government reorganisation, which you can read about if you click here, mark the most significant public shift in the debate on the number of councils we need and the most high-profile acknowledgement that a shake-up is inevitable.
Until now ministers have agreed in public that 22 authorities are too many for a small country like Wales and in private that the number needs to be cut. But ask them in public and they will say it's a distraction, too expensive and collaboration needs to be given more time to deliver efficiencies.
Carwyn Jones isn't about to rip up Labour's manifesto commitment just yet. As he said any move would have to wait until after the Williams review reports early next year and would require cross-party support. A Bill, he said, is unlikely before 2016. But in the first months after that election...?
The First Minister says he is 'open' to starting the process of reorganising local councils earlier than expected. Carwyn Jones' Welsh Government was elected with a manifesto commitment not to shake-up the current network of councils during this Assembly term.
During his monthly press conference Mr Jones said he 'doesn't like changing manifest commitments' but has heard increasing calls to bring forward the process. But he warned that any actual reorganisation was still unlikely before 2016 because of the legislative timetable,
A review is being carried out into the delivery of public services will report at the beginning of next year. There's widespread agreement that the current set-up of 22 local authorities is unsustainable.
Plaid Cymru has weighed into a row between Welsh Labour and the Welsh Conservatives over a delayed decision on tax and borrowing powers. Plaid AM Simon Thomas called the argument between Tory leader Andrew RT Davies and Labour AM Mike Hedges 'a unionist spat' and added:
– Simon Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru
This is a case of two toothless men fighting over who lost the toothbrush.
Plaid Cymru is the only party that can deliver for Wales. Unionist parties are ignoring the evidence and letting us down.
Only by putting Wales First will a Welsh Government enable our nation to reach its full potential in the community of nations.
The Welsh Conservatives are hitting back at a Labour attack on their leader Andrew RT Davies over a delayed decision on transferring tax and borrowing powers to Wales. Labour AM Mike Hedges called the Opposition Leader 'toothless' for not putting enough public pressure on his Westminster colleagues.
It follows a delay in the UK Government's response to the Silk Commission which last year recommended the transfer. A Welsh Conservative spokesman had this to say:
Our public commitment to the full implementation of Silk One remains unswerving. Perhaps Mike Hedges’ short memory has also forgotten his running Swansea Council into the ground. It is Labour’s squandering of public money that Silk’s recommendations – when introduced - will properly hold to account.
The First Minister has confronted David Cameron over delays to a decision on transferring tax and borrowing powers to Wales.
Carwyn Jones met the Prime Minister face to face at a meeting in Downing Street today.
He says the Prime Minister did say he now understands strong feeling about something he's previously called a 'Cardiff Bay obsession.'
The Welsh Secretary, David Jones, has defended a delay in making a decision on the transfer of tax and borrowing powers to the Welsh Government. First Minister Carwyn Jones raised the delay with the Prime Minister at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee in Downing Street.
The transfer of some taxes were recommended in a report by the Silk Commission which was published last November. At the time the Welsh Secretary said the proposals would be 'discussed immediately' and promised a response by the spring of this year.
Earlier this month the Prime Minister refused to commit to a new date saying that a consultation on one of the taxes involved, Stamp Duty Land Tax, needs to finish. That's being echoed by the Welsh Secretary who described today's JMC meeting as 'positive and productive,' before adding:
I fully understand how important the Silk Commission's report is. The Commission's recommendations raise issues of crucial importance to Wales and to theUnited Kingdom as a whole. As a Government, we are determined to make the right response to those recommendations. We listened to industry concerns about the proposed devolution of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) by consulting further. We are considering the further representations that have been made, and are finalising our response to the Commission's recommendations.
– David Jones MP, Secretary of State for Wales
The Silk Commission is currently examining the powers of the National Assembly, and the boundary of the Welsh devolution settlement, under Part II of its remit. It is due to report its Part II findings in the spring of next year, and we will consider the Commission's Part II recommendations carefully when published.
A Welsh Government source has dismissed criticism by Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams about the First Minister's campaign for a constitutional convention. Mr Williams accused Carwyn Jones of 'bluster' for not raising it with the Deputy Prime Minister's office which is responsible for the constitution.
But the source said:
The First Minister has led the way on calling for a Constitutional Convention. He has raised the issue many times in face-to-face discussions with both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. As usual, Plaid Cymru are late to the table and have nothing useful to add to this debate.