1. ITV Report

Chancellor commits to budget surplus even in good times

George Osborne delivers his keynote speech on the second day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Photo: PA

The Chancellor has set out a tough new economic policy which will require future Conservative governments to run an absolute surplus during periods of growth.

Coupled with a commitment to increase infrastructure spending at least in line with GDP growth, George Osborne's policy means that there will be no let-up in public spending discipline if the Tories win the next election, even after they have achieved their target of eliminating the deficit, aides said.

British governments have run a surplus in only seven out of the past 50 years.

Video report by ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby

George Osborne's clear message today is revolutionary: a surplus in good times as an insurance against bad times.

In 25 years of covering politics, I have never heard a senior politician make an out-and-out commitment to running budget surpluses.

He is intending to fight the next election squarely on the public finances.

– Tom Bradby, ITV News Political Editor

Osborne's keynote speech also announced:

Video report by ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship

Also on Monday a ComRes survey for the Independent suggested people believe their families would be better off under Labour but back the Conservatives to keep the economy growing.

The poll also found Labour's lead over the Tories has dropped from six points to four despite the Opposition revealing manifesto pledges at its party conference in Brighton.