...as Tories plan an emergency budget for 2010

CONSERVATIVE shadow chancellor George Osborne yesterday revealed he would call an emergency budget within weeks of a Tory victory.<br /><br />The Conservatives, who are widely tipped to gain power at the next election, have promised cuts in public spending, and are thought to be planning &pound;30bn of defence cuts. <br /><br />Osborne also said he would instigate a programme of reform that would be &ldquo;no less radical than the one that restored the UK&rsquo;s economic competitiveness in the 1980s and 1990&rdquo;.<br /><br />He argued that keeping interest rates down would be the main focus of economic policy and Conservative reform &ldquo;will require fundamental change across the whole spectrum of economic policy, including taxation, infrastructure, skills, housing and financial regulation&rdquo;.<br /><br />His key points included lowering corporation tax rates and developing a simpler tax system, radical education and welfare reform and more private investment in infrastructure and long-term assets such as high speed rail and smart energy networks.<br /><br />Osborne said the party would ensure interest rate cuts were passed on to bank customers. He also said that bank profits should be used to boost capital reserves &ndash;&ensp;not for shareholder payouts or bonuses. <br />