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Mixed bag of Lib promises
Mixed bag of Lib promises

With its final Budget of its first term now handed down, the Barnett Government has a mixed record on keeping its election promises, an analysis by _The West Australian _reveals.

While the Government has done a good job of keeping its word on law and order and Government integrity, its record on tax cuts and big infrastructure projects is less rosy.

Premier Colin Barnett declined to comment on the Liberals' record but his office gave a comprehensive defence of the Government's performance on big promises.

At the time of the 2008 election, the global financial crisis had not yet hit and the Liberals did not know they would have to negotiate the Royalties for Regions package with the Nationals to form Government.

Political analyst Harry Phillips said no one could have anticipated the GFC and the Liberals' 2008 election promises had to be considered in the context of then premier Alan Carpenter's decision to call an early election.

"They were not, you might say, as considered," he said of the promises. "The election was called early, the Liberals had a change of leadership. I think it would be fair to say their promises were very quickly proposed and generally there is a longer period of thought and a better knowledge of when the election is due.

"As a general principle I think all parties would do well to make fewer promises but deliver on them."

While the Government claims it has delivered on a promised $250 million payroll tax cut, the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry says business would have preferred more permanent payroll tax relief rather than two one-off holidays.

"Although we have seen a short-term reprieve, the Government has missed the opportunity to reinvest funds for permanent tax relief to thousands of WA businesses when many are facing difficult trading conditions," a CCI spokesman said.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said the Government had to explain its "spectacular failures".

Mr McGowan said Labor would announce its own fully costed promises before the March 2013 election. <div class="endnote">

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