Policy-by-policy: How's coalition done so far?

The coalition has published an overview and a more detailed pledge-by-pledge audit of its progress. Here are a selection of the coalition's original pledges and its assessment of progress, as well as Labour and BBC experts' verdict.


Police on the beat
Original coalition agreement pledges:
  • Cut bureaucracy in policing
  • Review police officers' terms of employment
  • Directly elected oversight of police
  • Publication of more crime data
  • Public to hold police to account at regular meetings
  • Bolster rights of homeowners to tackle burglars
  • Ban on selling alcohol "below cost price"

Where power lies

Not all coalition policies apply to all of the UK. For more details on Westminster's complex settlement with the devolved institutions, see BBC Democracy Live's guide.

What coalition says it's achieved:
  • Directly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs)
  • More than 500 million hits on crime data website
  • Police bureaucracy cut
  • Consultation on 45p-per-unit minimum price for alcohol
Where it accepts it has missed targets:
  • Police were to have been "required" to hold meetings with public, but the coalition has only "issued guidance" on the idea
Labour's verdict on coalition so far:
  • Cuts will cost more than 15,000 police officer jobs
  • Police powers to tackle anti-social behaviour being weakened
  • Turnout for PCC elections was historically low
Coalition's mid-term 'to do' list:
  • "Modernise" police pay and conditions
  • Formally establish the College of Policing
  • Ensure that the police "operate to the highest ethical standards"
  • Scrap Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbos) and bring in a "more effective system"
  • Create a new law against drug driving

BBC home affairs reporter Claire Ellison says: On policing the coalition is on target to fulfil many of its pledges. Elected police commissioners are now in place and there are advanced plans to cut police pay. But in doing so the coalition has set themselves against many officers whose morale is at a very low ebb. How will commissioners handle the inevitable cuts come February when the budgets are set? Will they exercise their new power to dismiss their chief constable should they disagree? Will the public start to see changes in the level of service police officers offer? Fortunately for the coalition they have brought in these changes at a time when crime is on a general downward trend. It's now possible to view crime maps online to see how many offences are committed in your neighbourhood. This is an innovation the coalition hopes will improve police accountability.


Olympic opening ceremony
Original coalition agreement pledges:
  • More scrutiny of BBC spending
  • Promote local media
  • Maintain free entry to national museums and galleries
  • Help to ensure London 2012 Games and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are a success
  • Improve administration of National Lottery
  • Introduce "Olympics-style schools sport event"
  • Cut bureaucracy for live music venues
  • Increase broadband internet access
What coalition says it's achieved:
  • London 2012 Games were "successful and memorable"
  • More than 15,000 schools signed up to School Games competition
  • Cut costs for small venues keen to stage live music
  • National museums and galleries still free to enter
  • The National Audit Office now has access to BBC accounts
Labour's verdict on coalition so far:
  • David Cameron was "shamed" into setting up Leveson Inquiry on media ethics, and then "rubbished its central recommendation"
  • Jeremy Hunt did not lose his job as culture secretary despite "clear evidence" that had broken the ministerial code
  • Ministers forced to scrap changes to tax on charitable giving
  • Involvement in school sport now in decline
Coalition's mid-term 'to do' list:
  • Improve participation in sport
  • Maintain funding for elite athletes
  • Encourage volunteering to facilitate sport in communities
  • Work with the Scottish Government to hold a successful Commonwealth Games in 2014
  • Push for implementation of the Leveson Report

BBC political reporter Justin Parkinson says: Ministers are demonstrating their pride at the success of the Olympics and Paralympics. It is too soon to judge their legacy, but efforts to ensure it is lasting and deep are emphasised. Readers of the audit are assured that progress is being made on the roll-out of superfast broadband. There is lots of detail on efforts to remove the "red tape" preventing live music performances and indoor sport. They also note that, as promised, they backed England's 2018 football World Cup bid, though, tactfully, they don't mention how the bid did...


British troops in Afghanistan
Original coalition agreement pledges:
  • Maintain Trident nuclear weapons system
  • Cut MoD running costs by at least 25%
  • "Rebuild" military covenant governing relationship between armed forces and society
  • Review Armed Forces pay and quality of accommodation
  • Improve treatment of injured personnel
  • Support defence exports that are not used for "internal repression"
What coalition says it's achieved:
  • Trident maintained and defence spending large compared with most other countries
  • MoD costs cut and 20,000 civilian jobs shed
  • Military covenant enshrined in law
  • Government support for defence exports continues, although rules tightened due to "lessons learned from the Arab Spring"
Where it accepts it has missed targets:
  • The audit accepts there is "more to do" on safeguards that arms exports are used "for legitimate purposes"
Labour's verdict on coalition so far:
  • Military personnel sacked months before pensions due
  • Investment in accommodation being cut
  • 30,000 Armed Forces job cuts will leave UK with "skills shortages"
Coalition's mid-term 'to do' list:
  • Invest in new equipment, including aircraft carriers, the joint strike fighter aircraft, and a "renewed nuclear deterrent"
  • Increase role and capability of reservists
  • Improve service accommodation
  • Axe a further 7,000 MOD civilian jobs
  • Find £4bn in savings from MoD budget
  • Sell unneeded MoD land
  • Complete and publish the review of alternatives to Trident
  • Distribute £35m in fines for Libor manipulation to service personnel and their families

BBC political reporter Justin Parkinson says: The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both use the audit to stress they have different views on renewing the UK's nuclear deterrent, while working to prevent global proliferation of weapons. They proudly announce that spending cut targets for the Ministry of Defence have increased since the coalition agreement. But, while this means personnel reductions, they are at pains to claim they are offering the services better treatment by enshrining the Military Covenant in law and doubling allowances for those serving in Afghanistan.


The Treasury team on the day of the 2012 Budget
Original coalition agreement pledges:
  • Reduce the deficit mainly by cutting spending rather than raising taxes
  • Full Spending Review by Autumn 2010
  • Reduce Child Trust Funds and cut tax credits for high earners
  • Abolish a number of quangos
What coalition says it's achieved:
  • Deficit cut by a quarter
  • Low earners protected
  • Government spending now more efficient
Labour's verdict on coalition so far:
  • Government policies caused double-dip recession
  • Borrowing is £212bn higher than planned
  • Welfare bill is "soaring"
  • Working families suffering due to below-inflation increases to in-work benefits
  • The "very richest" receiving £3bn tax cut
Coalition's mid-term 'to do' list:
  • Press on with deficit reduction
  • Set out detailed spending plans for 2015-16 fiscal year
  • Bear down further on fraud and error in Whitehall spending
  • Increase number of government procurement contracts going to small- and medium-sized enterprises

BBC chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym says: The coalition has made great play of how the deficit has been reduced by 25%. This relates to total borrowing in the year before the last election and the outturn for the 2011-12 year. But for the current year things have turned out worse than the chancellor expected, largely because of weaker growth. Underlying borrowing, stripping out exceptional factors like the Royal Mail pension transfer, will fall only fractionally. And on his chosen target, borrowing for day-to-day spending adjusted for the ups and downs of the economy, Mr Osborne has had to push back his plans. Soon after taking office he predicted a surplus on this measure by 2014-15. Last month, he had to acknowledge the public finances wouldn't be back in the black till 2016-17.


Sunrise over an oil refinery
Original coalition agreement pledges:
  • Push for increase in EU emissions reduction target to 30% by 2020
  • Generate more energy from renewable sources
  • Invest in carbon capture and storage
  • Found green investment bank
  • Encourage marine energy, and energy from waste through anaerobic digestion
  • Block third runway at Heathrow, and expansion of Gatwick and Stansted
  • Improve home energy efficiency
What coalition says it's achieved:
  • £3bn allocated to new green investment bank
  • Energy derived from renewables increasing
  • £1bn investment in carbon capture and storage
Where it accepts it has missed targets:
  • The pledge to cut EU emissions by 30% by 2020 has been dropped in favour of getting the EU "back on track" to cutting energy consumption by 20% by 2020
  • A planned rise in the renewable energy target has been abandoned
  • A commitment to replace air passenger duty with a per-flight tax was axed amid fears about "legality and feasibility"
  • "Green financial products" were to have enabled individuals to invest in green infrastructure, but seem to have been severely limited in scope
Labour's verdict on coalition so far:
  • Solar power industry hit by changes to feed-in tariffs
  • Investment in renewables has halved
Coalition's mid-term 'to do' list:
  • Treble support to low-carbon energy up to 2020
  • Invest in gas-fired power and carbon capture and storage projects
  • Encourage the exploitation of shale gas
  • Clarify rules on tax relief available for North Sea oil and gas decommissioning
  • Support investment in renewable energy
  • Encourage private-sector investment in nuclear power stations
  • Introduce smart meters
  • Encourage energy efficiency via the "Green Deal"
  • Continue to support the Green Investment Bank.
  • Promote electric cars

BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath says: The coalition has tried to square the circle between their need to keep the lights on and their legal commitment to reduce carbon emissions. Thanks to their Energy Bill, people will need to pay more to fund clean power. But they've also signalled a greater reliance on natural gas and have lifted a temporary ban on fracking for shale gas. For critics, this move has undermined claims to be the "greenest government ever".

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Politics stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.