Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Crunching those numbers

An hour to go until Alistair Darling stands up and my brain still aches from a little light number-crunching.

We don't have all the figures yet but we know a few numbers from which to draw conclusions.

It's one of those days that hacks, with varying degrees of numeracy, have to digest a vast array of statistics and then simplify them in a way that can be understood by the layperson without insulting those who know better than us what we are talking about.

The Welsh part of the spending review is likely to mean less money for the Assembly Government than it hoped but more than it feared.

Expect Ministers at Westminster to claim increases above inflation of more than two per cent - higher than Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Expect opposition MPs to challenge the figures by questioning the starting base used to work out the increase. Expect too questions about whether the Treasury has included European grants that had been destined for Wales anyway regardless of Alistair Darling's handywork.

Somehow we've got to work out where the truth lies - without using the following phrases: "Barnett consequentials", "objective one", "outturn figures", "convergence programme", "gross domestic product" and "fiscal consolidation".

I'm going for a brief lie-down in a darkened room.

No comments: