This Thursday, David Cameron announced that an incoming Conservative Government would have to make tough choices. Public spending would be cut and taxes might rise.
Conventional wisdom has it that there won't be a general election until 2010. The Tory leader is aware of that. So in one sense, there was no rush to discuss the difficulties his Government will probably face.
Labour have already been framing the Opposition as a danger to public services. This line of attack has worked well for the Government in the past but this time round those advising Cameron think things are different.
Whether or not the voters are now ready for austerity, Cameron 's strategy achieves two things. It gets the debate out in the open, thus preparing the electorate for it. This means there is plenty of time for the electoare to get used to Opposition MPs telling them things will not be the same as they have been. Secondly, it counters Labour's accusations and frames the Government as irresponsible big spenders.
Cameron has chosen the turf on which to battle for votes. In the months to come we will see if he has chosen wisely.