Today the Guardian runs a most important interview with George Osborne. In it it he makes some crucial points.
1. The government has borrowed far too much off balance sheet through Private Finance Initiatives, Public/private Partnerships and similar deals. These need to be evaluated, and their true liabilities and costs put into the public accounts.
2. Green taxes have been given a bad name by Labour, and are now seen as Stealth taxes by the public. The public does not want more of them.
3. The current large deficit will cast a long shadow over a future government. It will place such a government in a straitjacket.
These important statements imply that a future Conservative government cannot promise to match any spending plans for the next decade that Labour likes to dream up. Whilst no Conservative government would want to sack teachers, nurses or doctors, it will have to rein in the wasteful and undesirable spending which now abounds.
It also implies that tax cuts will not be funded from unpopular tax rises, but from the proceeds of growth as the economy starts to recover. Recovery will be strengthened and speeded if government gets a proper grip on spending.