North Somerset MP Liam Fox's bold speech about spending cuts
Former defence secretary Liam Fox has staked what some political commentators may see as a fresh bid to be a future leader of the Conservative Party with a controversial speech today.
Mr Fox, a former cabinet minister, is urging the government to freeze public spending for five years and use the money saved to cut takes and the country's deficit.
Most controversially, Mr Fox is suggesting the NHS is not protected from austerity measures.
Stamp duty and taxes on bank account interest could be cut to help engender a "savings investment culture" the North Somerset MP says.
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A spokesman for Downing Street has said David Cameron will stick to the course the coalition government is currently ploughing.
Going a step further, Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable said Mr Fox's plans would be a "jihad" against public spending.
The speech may ring true on the right of the Tory party, where Mr Fox has many supporters.
Mr Fox's proposed freeze on all public spending - as against the current freeze for Whitehall departmental budgets - would cut spending in real terms by 2.5% a year. The current plan is for a 1% annual cut.