We have today announced our verdict on the Coalition Government, exactly a year after it was established. We conclude that progress has been made, but in too many areas the rhetoric hasn’t been matched by the policy delivered.
During the last General Election, we published a manifesto which set out our objectives for this Parliament. We promised then that we would judge any new government against that standard.
Today the TPA publishes its assessment of the Government's progress so far. The new report judges the Government's performance on every objective in our manifesto and assigns a score out of five. Zero (0) signifies no progress at all, whilst a score of five (5) reflects that the objective has been satisfied or a clear path has been set out for that to happen.
Our assessment finds that in every area good progress has been made against some objectives but lacking in others. For example:
- In tax and spending the Government has introduced a 2-year public sector pay freeze (4/5) and cut middle class welfare (3/5) but has not matched benefit reform with better tax policy (2/5)
- In reforming services the Government has given teachers and parents the right to open new, free schools (5/5) and appears to be on track to introduce elected police commissioners (5/5) but is yet to refocus transport spending on high use commuter rail and roads and is yet to scrap high speed rail proposals (0/5)
- In democracy and transparency the Government has strengthened the FOI act (2/5) but there have been no moves to hold a referendum on a renegotiation of our relationship with the EU (0/5)
In the rest of this Parliament, the TaxPayers’ Alliance will continue to campaign on the objectives set out in our manifesto. In those areas where good progress has been made so far we will work to ensure that the initial promise is delivered upon, in other areas we will campaign for change.
Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"Early on the Government made some excellent progress cutting some wasteful spending and opening up the public sector so taxpayers could see how their money is spent. Since then there has been further progress in some areas like strengthening Freedom of Information. Exciting reforms that will deliver better value from welfare, education and police spending have made progress. But in too many other fields, like tax reform and abolishing useless quangos, the rhetoric hasn’t been matched by the policy delivered. With expensive commitments like increasing international development and the high speed rail white elephant, families will see more of their money wasted. The TaxPayers' Alliance will continue fighting to defend the interests of ordinary taxpayers and campaigning on the priorities we set out before the election."