Cameron vows to get 'more for less'

Tory leader will rally his troops with demand for greater value for money

David Cameron will tomorrow promise a revolution in the way that central government operates if he becomes Prime Minister, so that the state delivers "more for less" in Britain's "age of austerity".

Addressing his party's spring conference in Cheltenham, the Tory leader will call for a "change of culture" so that the public sector takes its share of the burden, in order to bring down the record borrowing figures revealed in this week's Budget.

But Mr Cameron will defy Labour demands for him to spell out in detail where his public spending cuts would fall. Ministers will increase the pressure on him to "come clean" this weekend, warning that cuts to front-line services would be inevitable under a Tory Government.

"The times are too serious for David Cameron's marketing speak," Liam Byrne, the Cabinet Office minister, said last night. "He must stop playing fantasy politics and hide and seek with the voters. We have set out our plans in the Budget. Now it is time for him to set out his."

But the Tory leadership will argue that the doubts already expressed about Alistair Darling's Budget forecasts – which could raise borrowing in the current year beyond the £175bn he predicted – shows that it would be wrong to spell out the party's economic prospectus in full until they have studied the books after the election. "The uncertainties are so great that we have no idea what they will look like," one Tory source said.

Tory officials said the Opposition would not walk into a "Labour trap" by promising to reverse the 50p top rate of income tax that will bite on earnings above £150,000 a year from next April.

Yesterday, Mr Cameron said the move was "a mistake" and "bad for Britain" as he tried to reassure Tory traditionalists who want him to pledge to scrap the rate.

But he stopped short of doing so in a round of media interviews. He said: "We don't approve of the high marginal tax rates which will do damage to Britain. But it's got to form its place in the queue of taxes we want to get rid of. How do we get rid of them? By getting to grips with spending now."

Today, William Hague, Mr Cameron's unofficial deputy, will address the new generation of Tory parliamentary candidates in Cheltenham. The party has now chosen candidates in more than 300 constituencies.

In a separate speech to the main conference, the shadow Foreign Secretary will accuse Gordon Brown of heading "the most financially disastrous, blindingly incompetent, grossly dishonest and disgustingly grubbiest of all the governments in the modern history of our country".

He will claim that the Prime Minister is acting in a "narrow, partisan and factional" way rather than as the leader of a great country.

"We need to tackle Labour's debt crisis by making sure government lives within its means, and that the Conservative answer is fiscal responsibility with a social conscience," Mr Hague will say. "For nothing is more damaging to a nation's future, more corrosive of its prospects and more draining of its energies, than to load on to the shoulders of future generations the burden of paying for the economic mismanagement of today. It is above all today's children who will end up cursing the day that their parents and grandparents elected Gordon Brown."

He will add: "The Conservatives will once again have to clean up this rotting mess; we will once again pick up where a government that has run out of everyone else's money has left off, and rebuild the prosperity and position of our country."

Mr Hague will appeal to Mr Brown to restore trust in politics by calling the referendum that Labour promised on a new EU treaty.

"Our Prime Minister was not elected to his office by anyone. He ran away from an election and then ran from a referendum," he will say.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee