Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has pulled her party out of budget talks with the Welsh Government in protest at the decision to spend £1 billion on a new motorway around Newport. She claimed it was a reckless and undemocratic decision, arguing that cheaper and more effective solutions to the traffic jams on the existing M4 would have left more money to be spent in other parts of Wales.
The Welsh Government does not have a majority in the Senedd and needs the support of at least one other party to get its budget passed. In the past, it has reached a deal with Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats or both. Plaid and the Welsh Lib Dems has reached an agreement to negotiate jointly in future.
The Welsh Government's spending plans have been criticised for not fulfilling its own priorities. A report by a cross-party group of Assembly Members says that, while the Welsh Government described its draft budget as a 'budget for jobs', in fact more spending was being targetted at health services.
Members of the Labour party which forms the Welsh Government are amongst the members of the Finance Committee which has published the report. It calls for government priorities to be 'more clearly reflected and highlighted in budget proposals.' The Committee's Chair, Jocelyn Davies, says:
Neither of the parties will say exactly what deal they'll try to reach with the Welsh Government but say there's more that they agree on than disagree. Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams says: