A Conservative government would crack down on waste and excessive bureaucracy from “day one”, David Cameron has said.
In a speech to the Welsh Conservative conference in Llandudno, the Tory leader attacked Labour’s “spendaholic culture” and repeatedly said he wanted to deliver “more for less”.
He said reducing demands on the state and reforming public services would have “a profound impact” on how much the government spent.
“But the truth is it may take years to feel many of the benefits - and we can’t afford to wait that long,” he said.
“We need to start getting more for less from day one.
“So there is a third component to our plans - cutting out waste.”
Mr Cameron argued for reining in public spending, saying: “The greatest task of all for an incoming government will be getting to grips with the monster budget deficit that Labour have created.
“I think people know by now that the Conservatives are the ones with the grit and the guts to cut public spending, to cut the deficit, to get this problem sorted.”
He said the Tories had been “upfront” about the need for cuts, about where they would come from “and upfront that they will have to start straight away”.
The question of how to improve things without just spending money will “define British politics for years to come”, he said.
A Conservative government would drop costly “old-world bureaucratic methods” and publish every item of spending over £25,000, creating greater transparency that would unleash an “army of armchair auditors crawling all over the books, scrutinising them and acting as a straitjacket on wasteful spending”.
“I don’t think people quite get how radical we propose to be,” Mr Cameron said.