Stimulus - the Welsh, Scottish and Westminster way

Look at any computer screen in the newsroom in Cardiff today and two headline words stand out: Speed and stimulus.

On the story behind the former headline there's been utter unanimity in the response: an overwhelming sadness and sense of loss.

On the latter, there's been anything but unanimity.

First came the details of economic stimulus Welsh style. Now that the budget deal has been struck with the Liberal Democrats, we get to see the details of the Welsh government's "Economic Stimulus Package," or how Labour here in Wales plan to spend the extra money they got because the UK coalition decided to freeze council tax in England.

They should, say the Tories, have stuck to the English way and frozen council tax. That was never Labour's plan.

Instead, over two years, the £38.9m will be spent on creating 1,800 apprenticeships, helping companies who want to expand the workforce, building 130 new affordable homes and updating school buildings.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt has described it as "a comprehensive stimulus package", to be seen in tandem with the money she's already said she'll invest in small and medium sized businesses and capital investment announced last week. This is about boosting the economy, trying desperately to work out how best to spend the money in a way that provides immediate benefits.

Tory Shadow Minister for Finance Paul Davies sees nothing "other than a fresh attempt by Welsh Labour Ministers to be seen to act on the economy, while spending money which would be better spent by taxpayers themselves".

Plaid Cymru's Alun Ffred Jones spies an insult.

"To call this a "comprehensive stimulus" package is insulting to all those companies that are currently struggling to keep their heads above water ... they're trying desperately to create the impression that this small sum of money will do what's needed. Quite simply, it will not".

Then comes "stimulus" Uk government style - £5b in the next three years of government money, plus a further £20b from big pensions funds, to be spent on infrastructure projects in England. That Welsh government source who talked on Friday of the Autumn Statement bringing with it "a hefty sum" for Wales was well informed.

Carwyn Jones will welcome the money but inevitably remind the UK government that it's giving back with one hand a little bit of the far bigger sum it's already taken with the other. The emphasis might be switching from day-to-day spending to spending on big capital projects now (giving someone in Edinburgh a few good lines for his next FMQs) but prepare for reminders in Cardiff Bay that it was the Welsh capital budget that took the heaviest blow of all.

The Conservatives will accuse Labour of not doing enough with the money they do have, while Plaid will welcome the money but warn that Labour will waste it. In fact they have already said just that.

We can guess what will be said. But how much money, exactly, are they going to argue over? Just how "hefty" are we talking? A straight 5% - as per the Barnett formula - of £5b? So £250m? Or is it not that simple?

Calls to the Treasury, the Wales Office and Jane Hutt's office lead to three invitations to ring again tomorrow. Come back after the announcement is made. But the list is already public, we said, a long list of the projects in England that will benefit. So go on, just how "hefty" is the amount on its way into the Welsh government's purse?

Nice try, they said. Call back tomorrow.

We will.