Public spending will rise, say Tories

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Indy Politics

The Conservatives have promised to make an "unambiguous commitment" to increasing expenditure on public services, despite calls from sections of the party for a programme of tax cuts.

Oliver Letwin, chairman of the party's policy review, said it was "almost certain" to back the call for greater investment. But he admitted the Tories had a problem convincing the public.

He spoke as the party published an interim report by its public services policy group calling for greater targeted investment in services such as investment.

It said: "We believe all Conservatives should embrace an unambiguous commitment to the growth of public services, as part of a growth of general wellbeing."

Mr Letwin said: "Conservative governments in the past have increased expenditure on public services, but nobody quite believes it."

However, on Sunday, the Thatcherite No Turning Back Group published a call for a clear commitment to tax cuts, insisting that low taxes were not "a desirable extra you can add when everything is fine".

Meanwhile, the Conservative leader David Cameron arrived in India for a tour of the sub-continent by opening a new JCB plant at Pune, run by the long-standing Tory donor Sir Anthony Bamford. Mr Cameron called for greater trade links between Britain and India.