The Tories would make departmental spending cuts a priority if they were elected, the shadow chancellor George Osborne has said.
Mr Osborne (pictured) promised the Conservatives would work "flat out" over the summer to identify detailed spending cuts in a bid to bring down the country's deficit.
He said that "difficult decisions" would be made by autumn based on the findings of an independent audit on the public finances. The Tories would also take into account growth forecasts, which would come soon after polling day.
And plans were revealed for an emergency budget within 50 days of the election to establish the "overall fiscal path and spending totals" for the coming years.
It is thought that slashing public sector pensions and raising the pension age will feature in the plan – also likely to reduce the cost of Whitehall bureaucracy.
Mr Osborne said: "We will take targeted steps to reduce some budgets in-year ... in order to build credibility and make a start on reducing the deficit."
The Tories would then immediately set to work on the departmental spending review that Mr Osborne accused the government of shying away from.