DAVID Cameron's promise yesterday to abolish income tax on savings for basic rate taxpayers and to raise tax allowances for pensions by two thousand pounds are straight out of the Daily Telegraph campaign book and will certainly appeal to people who “live within their means, save for a rainy day and waste-not want-not” - Mr Cameron's definition. The cost of these measures is likely to be about four billion pounds; Mr Cameron said that he will find that sum by cutting planned increases above inflation in government spending from 3.4 per cent overall to 2.6 per cent and in other than key departments from 4 to 1 per cent. There's the rub. He identified health, education, defence and international development as exempt from the most severe cuts but at first glance that leaves such things as security and police, roads and other infrastructure, business and trade, environment and diplomacy out in the cold. The devil, as usual, will be in the detail which in the past in such cases the Conservatives have been reluctant to provide. At least he is no longer talking about the huge savings to be made by getting rid of consultants. Mr Cameron left us with a picture of the kind of Britain he would like to see, with an economy combining the family-friendly policies of Scandanavia, the dynamism of California's Silicon Valley and Japan's savings culture. He also, of course, called for an election this year.


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