Conservative leader David Cameron has said that the Government should look to the business models of Tesco and Sainsbury’s to run things more effectively during difficult times.

He said that the supermarket giants have proved it is possible to cut costs and improve services simultaneously.

Speaking to Radio 4 Cameron said: “Sainsbury’s, Tesco, they don’t think to themselves that the reduction of costs, which they do on a permanent basis, is going to make their service worse. They say it’s going to make their service to their customers better.”

He added: “We need some of that thinking in Government.”

He compared the Government to companies in trouble saying that when companies faced harsh times they would always be at their “most creative”. 

KBC Peel Hunt retail analyst John Stevenson agreed that some retailers have allocated their resources well in recent years. “Although whether you can apply a retailing analogy to the NHS is a whole new board game,” he said.