Last week ConHome wrote:

"Before we’re willing to accept tax rises from an incoming Tory government we need to be convinced that everything possible has been done to end the misspending of this incompetent Labour government."

There may be no ‘Letwin review of waste’ but speaking to the LSE this morning, David Cameron signalled – for the first time – that the Conservatives were determined to bring public spending under control.  Here are three highlights from his remarks:

Lower spending is the only way of avoiding higher taxes: "Borrowing is now going beyond acceptable limits. Taxes are already too high – and Labour’s plans for even more taxes will act as a drag anchor on recovery. They’ll put people off from investing here and help to destroy jobs not create them. So the choice is clear, and it’s a tough one – we need to restrain public spending… I can announce today that in order to keep spending at a responsible level and to ensure the quickest possible end to the recession and the strongest possible recovery, we will not match Labour’s new spending plans for 2010 and beyond."

Every shadow minister has been charged with finding wasteful spending and redundant programmes: "I have asked every shadow minister to go through their budget line by line, to root out wasteful spending, and to abolish programmes that have served their purposes and are no longer necessary.  We are calling on the best private sector expertise to find ways to save taxpayers’ money and improve service delivery."

The importance of transparency: "We are developing a systematic programme to improve the way the Government spends its money and we will ensure that we are held to account.  Last year, we introduced a Bill in Parliament to force the Government to list on a public, easily searchable website, every item of public spending over £25,000. Be in no doubt: the next Conservative government will usher in greater transparency and accountability. There will be nowhere to hide the foreign trips or office re-decorations at the taxpayers expense, no secret books to store those salary perks and expensive unnecessary training."

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