Government facing accusations of spin and whitewash after publishing 'audit' of its time in power

Report lists dozens of targets that have not been achieved or have been dropped

The Coalition is facing accusations of spin and whitewash after releasing a detailed “audit” of its record which glossed over some of the most contentious episodes that have confronted it since coming to office.

The Government said it proved it had achieved the “vast majority” of its initial objectives. By its own admission, however, nearly 90 of the 399 pledges that it wanted to be judged against have either been dropped or are still to be completed.

Critics also seized on the omissions in the 119-page document, which was belatedly released as an annexe to the Coalition’s mid-term review.

It failed to mention George Osborne’s abandoned promise to cut debt as a share of gross domestic product within five years, the introduction of £9,000 a year university tuition fees or the rejection of plans for elected mayors in large cities.

It also claimed that plans to require phone and internet companies to store more information about users’ online contacts were designed to “provide clarity over what types of personal data are required”.

The audit’s existence only emerged when one of David Cameron’s aides was spotted carrying a memo which suggested the audit publication could be delayed to avoid overshadowing publicity around the review, which took place three days ago amid great fanfare.

At the time the Prime Minister described the Coalition’s performance over its first two and a half years as a “Ronseal deal”, proving two political parties could come together in the national interest.

He returned to the metaphor in angry exchanges with Ed Miliband yesterday ahead of the audit’s publication, promising the document would be full, frank and “completely unvarnished”.

The audit does not rate Coalition promises by whether they have been achieved or missed so far. But an analysis by the Independent concluded that 19 have been abandoned and a further 67 have not been completed.

Those that have been scrapped or postponed include staging a free vote on repealing the hunting ban, the planned cull of badgers, introducing elections to the House of Lords and the establishment of a dedicated border police force.

The audit acknowledged that moves to hold all-postal primaries to select candidates in 200 parliamentary seats were being reconsidered, while a plan to replace Air Passenger Duty with a per-flight levy had been shelved amid concerns over its “legality and feasibility”.

Promises still in the pipeline include banking reform, banning the sale of below-cost alcohol and the introduction of more flexible working patterns.

The audit sidestepped the Coalition’s original promise not to introduce a top-down reorganisation of the National Health Service, claiming that last year’s sweeping health reforms would help deliver better health, better care and better value for money”.

Michael Dugher, Labour’s vice-chair, said: “David Cameron has gone from Ronseal to whitewash in just two days. It turns out that the document David Cameron tried and failed to cover up is now itself a cover-up.”

Mr Cameron’s official spokesman said the document proved the Government had achieved or was making progress on the “vast majority” of its commitments.

Asked about the absence of figures on the economy’s performance, he said those figures were freely available and it was not the intention of the new document to repeat them.

“The aim of the document is to go through one by one each of the commitments made by the Government. What we have done is set out, against every single one of the commitments, progress to date.”

The spokesman said the audit had not been ready for publication alongside the mid-term review because the process of “copper-bottoming” its accuracy had not been completed.

The audit’s existence emerged when the photographer Steve Back took pictures of Downing Street aide Patrick Rock holding a memo warning that publishing it alongside the mid-term review could highlight “problematic areas” and lead to “unfavourable copy” identifying “broken pledges”.

Achieved

* Raise the income tax threshold. It went up to £8,105 in 2012/13 and will increase to £9,440 in 2013/14.

* Introduce a system of Free Schools. Eighty have now opened, with 102 more due to follow in September.

* Bring in civil liberties measures, including scrapping Labour’s identity card plans.

Broken

* Promise to “support an increase in the EU emission reduction target to 30 per cent by 2020”. Instead has backed a directive cutting energy consumption by 20 per cent.

* House of Lords reform. Ministers “took the decision not to proceed” after rebellion against the move by Tory MPs.

* Vote on repealing fox-hunting ban on ice.

Not mentioned

* Double dip recession and abandonment of moves to cut debt as share of GDP by 2015.

* The turmoil over introducing £9,000 a year university tuition fees.

* Nine cities out of 10 rejected the idea of elected mayors in referenda last year.

Sport
sportMan United run out of patience with exit thought to be imminent
News
peopleTop Gear presenter and all-round controversialist is at it again
Sport
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after opening the scoring in Arsenal's win over Hull `
sport
News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
food + drinkSprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
News
Coren Mitchell, who is the daughter of the late broadcaster Alan Coren and is married to comedian David Mitchell, produced a hand to make poker history at the 98th EPT main event.
peopleJournalist and TV presenter becomes first ever two-time winner of the European Poker Tour
Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
politicsLabour launches the 'completely hollow' Easter Clegg
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Last, but by no means least, is Tommy Cooper and the fez. This style of hat became a permanent trademark of his act.
comedyNot Like That, Like This centres on alleged domestic abuse
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

Do you want to work in Education?

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players