Wales Online reports:
A deal between the Welsh Government and the Liberal Democrats has been struck to allow budget plans announced later today to pass through the Assembly – with a pledge that there will be no M4 construction before the next elections.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats said they had struck a two-year deal worth £223m which sees the party’s flagship Pupil Deprivation Grant – a spin on the “pupil premium” in England – rise from £800 per pupil to £1,050 next year and a further £100 the year after, and it will also be extended to under-fives.
The deal will also see a concessionary fare scheme for 16-18-year-olds, worth £15m, introduced and childcare support for student-parents in further education.
But the deal saw the government pledge construction on a new £1bn relief road – which the Liberal Democrats oppose – will not start before the next Assembly elections in 2016, and will also require a new environmental assessment to be carried out on the proposals.
An impressive set of policy achievements, which goes along with what looks as this Parliament progresses a better and better set of election results in the last Welsh Assembly elections in 2011. To win five seats, down by just one, is not a result to break out the champagne for, but is an awful lot better than many other results.