Not quite £500 million but close enough. Alistair Darling's budget has cut the Assembly's spending power by £416 million - £216 million from revenue funding and £200 million in capital funding.
The First Minister has put on a brave face, saying that they can make enough savings in places without affecting frontline services. Well let's hope the WAG are skillful enough and find enough loose change down the back of their collective sofas to protect health, education etc...
Others are not so optimistic, the opposition parties (I'm counting Plaid here), the WLGA and countless pressure groups all expecting some bleak days for the public sector in Wales, and calling on the WAG to prioritise protecting this budget and that budget...
Some good news: your old banger may get you a couple of grand, you may get some work or training if you've been unemployed for 12 months and under 25, and there's also some more help for pensioners. The SNP are chuffed because Rhodri Morgan's candidness about the impact of the budget has helped them score some political points over the not so forthright Scottish Labour Party.
The full implications are as yet unknown, I look forward to a full debate on the issue in tomorrow's podcast.
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