Ed Miliband and the Barnett formula - your daily update

Day two of the Labour conference, and Joel Barnett's ears will be burning today.

First, a reminder of why Ed Miliband wants to keep the Barnett formula. He told Andrew Marr yesterday: "All the party leaders have said that we think the Barnett formula has served us well and should continue because it is oriented towards need.

"And the fact is that on for example, older people Scotland has greater needs......."

Is he right? I dealt with "oriented towards need" yesterday. So does Scotland, with the lowest life expectancy of the UK's nations, really have more older people?

I asked Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones if Mr Miliband was right. He said politely : "I'm not sure it does have more older people actually than in Wales."

I double-checked with the Office for National Statistics website. Its analysis of 2010 figures says: "Wales continued to have the highest proportion of people aged 65 and over (19 %) and Northern Ireland had the lowest (14 %). England and Scotland had similar proportions of older people in their populations, 16 and 17 % respectively."

So the idea that the Scots need higher public spending because they have more older people than the rest of us is a myth.

Carwyn Jones maintained again today that the formula underfunds Wales by £300m a year (some Labour figures say it's less than half that).

I asked him where the money to plug the Barnett gap would come from. England? He said: "My interest is to make sure Wales gets its fair share of funding. How that is done is a secondary question."

It is not a secondary question if you have to raise the money yourself - or sign the cheque. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls told delegates today that the UK's finances were so tight child benefit would have to be cut in real terms.

He also promised: "No spending commitments without saying where the money is coming from."

So where is the money for Wales coming from? I asked shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith. He said: "It will have to come from elsewhere in the budget. We will lay that out when we get to the election. I've been very clear, Ed [Miliband] and Ed Balls have been very clear we will fill that Barnett gap and the people of Wales can be re-assured about that."

That's probably enough Barnett formula for one day. I'm going for a lie-down in a darkened room.