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RedwoodjohnspeakingJohn Redwood has used an interview with the FT (subscription required) to set out some of the priorities for the economic competitiveness task force that he will be chairing:

Public sector waste: "Mr Redwood said his review would "freshen up" the work on efficiency savings already done by Sir Peter Gershon, the government’s former efficiency adviser, and David James, the Conservatives’ waste troubleshooter… "I think by the time we get close to 2009, there are going to be monumentally large sums of money that are not helping the individual school or hospital that we will have to spend more wisely – or not spend at all.""

Tax: Mr Redwood was careful to agree with David Cameron’s ‘stability before tax cuts’ message – "I think David is right that you first have to get people’s trust over economic management and that you can’t take risks with stability" – but noting that lower taxed economies generally perform better, he said this of corporation tax: "You could maximise revenues by having a lower rate than you have currently, if evidence shows that you are losing a lot of footloose business investments and opportunities because the rate is too high."  On Saturday ConservativeHome reported the Reform think tank’s disappointment at the Tory caution on tax.

Transport infrastructure: "One focus would be to develop the transport infrastructure where "even if rail capacity doubled, it would only take care of a couple of years’ growth in travel demand"."

Higher education: An ambition to get five UK universities into – or rivalling – the top ten in the world.

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