Shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin has told the construction industry it would face less bureaucracy over building schools and hospitals if the Conservatives win the next election.

Speaking at a Building Breakfast Club meeting at The Savoy Hotel this week, Letwin said a Tory government would spend the same amount on health and education but would restructure the way the money was spent.

Hospitals and schools would be given the freedom to spend their income as they wished. This would come in the form of “fees” from patients and pupils. The more popular the school or hospital, the more fees it would attract.

At the meeting, attended by 100 leading players in the sector, Letwin spelt out his vision for a lower taxation economy. He argued that this could be achieved through tight public spending in areas outside education and health, leading to an overall 2% fall in public spending as percentage of gross domestic product.

The Conservatives would cut public sector jobs and reduce bureaucracy. He claimed they would abandon the best-value regime used by local authorities within a week of coming into office.

He quipped: “There will be plenty of business for those constructing buildings for front line operators, and for agents selling buildings occupied by bureaucrats. But no work putting up new buildings for bureaucrats.”