Coalition Publishes 'Unvarnished' Mid-Term Audit - But Has It Had A Lick Of Ronseal?

The government's much anticipated mid-term audit has been criticised for failing to provide the "completely unvarnished" assessment of the coalition the prime minister had promised.

The 119 page document details the government's pledges and what it has done to fulfil them - but the document seems to have had some Ronseal added, with the government breezing over U-turns such as its failure to implement House of Lords reform.

The document merely notes: "The Government took the decision not to proceed with the Bill following second reading in the House of Commons and the lack of support for the necessary timetabling motion."

The government published an audit of the coalition government's first two-and-a-half years in office

The audit was released after Number 10 adviser Patrick Rock was seen carrying a "restricted" document warning of "broken pledges" in the coalition agreement, which suggested the government had delayed publication to avoid overshadowing the favourable media coverage they expected to receive from Monday's mid-term review.

The self-assessment also notes that the badger cull to help control bovine TB has been "postponed" and a free vote on repealing the hunting ban has "not yet been taken forward."

The Labour party has released its own "audit of broken promises", listing 40 areas in which it said the coalition had failed to live up to its pledges.

Top of the list of broken promises identified by Labour was the failure to balance the nation's books within five years - something which is not now expected to happen until 2018 at the earliest.

On deficit reduction, the government say it is their "most urgent priority", failing to note borrowing has risen since they came to power.

Michael Dugher MP said: "It turns out that the document David Cameron tried and failed to cover up is now itself a cover-up.

"There's no mention of his government's failure on growth, of the double-dip recession or of £212 billion extra borrowing. It tries to gloss over David Cameron's broken promises on the £3 billion NHS reorganisation and 7,000 fewer nurses, and doesn't even mention his tax cut worth £107,000 for 8,000 millionaires while millions of hard-working families on low and middle incomes are paying more.

"This is a government that lurches from failure to fiasco. They promised change but things are getting worse, not better, and they stand up for the wrong people."

The audit said that the independent Office for Budget Responsibility had confirmed the government was "on course to meet our fiscal mandate" of balancing the books, which was based on a rolling five-year period and not on the fixed target date of 2015.

The government on: NHS reform

Promise: We will ensure that there is a stronger voice for patients locally through directly elected individuals on the boards of their local primary care trust (PCT). The remainder of the PCT’s board will be appointed by the relevant local authority or authorities, and the Chief Executive and principal officers will be appointed by the Secretary of State on the advice of the new independent NHS board. This will ensure the right balance between locally accountable individuals and technical expertise.

Audit: In light of the abolition of PCTs, we are ensuring greater democratic legitimacy in healthcare through the transferral of responsibility for public health to local authorities. We are also introducing Health and Wellbeing Boards (within local authorities), which will set the overall strategies for healthcare in their localities.

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