At his press conference this morning David Cameron confirmed that the Tories would not cut public spending but would restrain its growth.

Given that Brown-Darling intend to limit spending to 1.1% from 2011 the difference between the parties is no more than about £6bn pa.  Fraser Nelson describes this as a difference "between nothing and almost nothing".  To put it in context the annual public borrowing requirement will be £118bn.

As Fraser points out the divide would be larger if, as would be likely, Labour fails to keep to the 1.1% target.  The divide would be just £3bn pa if the Tories limit real spending growth to just 0.5% to 0.6%.

The difference doesn’t seem enough to avoid the "drastic" tax rises that Ken Clarke has warned about.

I’m told by the Tory Treasury team that the party has made just two commitments on portfolio spending; (1) To increase spending on health by more than inflation (no government has ever failed to deliver this) and (2) to reach the 0.7% of GDP spent on international development target by 2013.

Tim Montgomerie

44 comments for: Not the biggest divide in the world

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