Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond told the Financial Times that reduced borrowing would take priority over tax cuts in the first term of a Tory government.
Although he repeated the Nu-Con mantra that they were a tax-cutting party 'by instinct' he refused to pledge any cuts that would lead to a cut in public services.
This came despite George Osborne's commitment on the Andrew Marr show that they would 'squeeze' spending on welfare and Andrew Lansley's statement that some cuts were inevitable as health spending rises.
The comments from Hammond suggest that the Tories could be going into the next election both pledging to cut spending on the one hand, and refusing to cut taxes on the other.
In fact as Lansley's admission suggests, an increasingly aging and dependent population could well lead the Tories to both spend and therefore tax at a higher level.
All of which will leave most voters wondering just what the Tories are for.