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UK Politics

The Coalition review: What they claimed and our verdict


Coalition Agreement, 2010: "Deficit reduction, and continuing to ensure economic recovery, is the most urgent issue facing Britain."

Mid-term Review, 2013: "We have reduced the deficit by a quarter and have set out a credible path towards our goal to balance the current budget over the economic cycle."

Our verdict: Progress made in reducing the deficit, but the Coalition has had to extend its timetable to achieve that. Britain has struggled out of double-dip recession, but there is little sign of sustained recovery.

Achievement: 3/5


2010: "We will reform the banking system to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis, to promote a competitive economy, to sustain the recovery and to protect and sustain jobs."

2012: "We will reverse years of inadequate regulation, change wholly inappropriate cultures and systems of reward and introduce more competition among high street banks."

Our verdict: Slow progress, with plans to ring-fence retail banking from investment banking due before Parliament this year. Bonuses for bankers still well beyond the experience of most voters.

Achievement: 2/5


2010: "The tax system needs to be reformed to make it more competitive, simpler, greener and fairer."

2013: "[We have taken] some difficult decisions to increase tax revenues. But at the same time we have taken active steps to make the personal tax system fairer and to promote enterprise and reward hard work."

Our verdict: The Coalition has almost achieved its target of raising the personal tax allowance of £10,000. It also cut top rate of tax to boost competitiveness, but suffered political damage as a result.

Achievement: 3/5


2010: "We need to reform our school system to tackle educational inequality...and to give greater powers to parents and pupils to choose a good school."

2013: "We expect high standards of discipline and world class teaching in every classroom. And we will continue to encourage those who share that ambition…to start new schools, primarily in areas of deprivation and basic need."

Our verdict: There's no denying the pace and ambition of the education programme with the introduction of free schools and the expansion of academies.

Achievement: 5/5


2010: "We will introduce new measures to minimise abuse of the immigration system."

2013: "We expect the overall result of our policies will be a significant reduction in net migration to the UK."

Our verdict: Reforms in place, but Coalition has only just begun to cut net migration and is unlikely to hit David Cameron's target for reduction.

Achievement: 2/5


2010: "We have both agreed to sweeping reform of welfare…"

2013: "We are fundamentally changing our welfare system to make work pay."

Our verdict: The Coalition Agreement only hinted at the changes planned in welfare. The Universal Credit, to be phased in from this year, is an ambitious change – but its success will not be known for several years. Big cuts to welfare bill and reform to benefits.

Achievement: 4/5


2010: "We urgently need fundamental political reform, including a referendum on electoral reform, much greater co-operation across party lines, and changes to our political system to make it far more transparent."

2013: "Many of the changes we promised in the original Programme for Government have since been introduced. However, in the case of reforms to democratise the House of Lords, it became clear we did not enjoy the support of enough MPs."

Our verdict: "Fundamental political reform" has not occurred, with plans for an elected Lords and boundary changes in limbo. Police Commissioner elections were shunned by the public.

Achievement: 1/5


2010: "We will stop the top-down reorganisations of the NHS that have got in the way of patient care."

2013: "We have reformed the NHS, giving patients and communities more choice and a stronger voice. This combination of investment and reform is starting to deliver significant improvements."

Our verdict: NHS overhaul not foreshadowed in 2010, putting Coalition on collision course with most doctors.Jury still out over whether reforms will improve care.

Achievement: 2/5