David Cameron has announced that a Conservative government would cut all ministerial salaries and end MPs' subsidised food and drink.
In his first major speech since the summer recess, the Conservative leader also pledged to reduce the number of MPs by 10 per cent and to cut the number of ministerial cars.
Cameron conceded that the £120m-a-year saving would only be a "pinprick" in the amount needed to plug the deficit but said that politicians had to lead a "wholesale change of culture" in public spending.
"That will only happen if people feel there is genuine leadership from the top and that the burden is being shared fairly - especially by those who can bear it best," he said.
He added: "Under a Conservative government, far from politicians being exempt from the age of austerity, they must show leadership."
Cameron said that following an immediate cut of five per cent, ministerial salaries would be frozen for the duration of the next parliament. His plans would see the prime minister's pay cut by £6,500 and cabinet ministers' pay cut by £4,000.
The price of food and drink would be raised to "match the prices, normal people pay in cafes, restaurants and bars around the country", he said, saving up to £5.5m.
"We all have to eat, we all sometimes want a drink, there's nothing about this job that forces us to eat or drink any more than if we did something else," he said.
He also restated plans to abolish Regional Assemblies, publish all government spending over £25,000 online and scrap MPs' £10,000 communications allowance.
Cameron said his proposals marked the first time that an opposition leader had promised to cut public spending.
"Unlike any previous politicians in opposition... we've taken the bold step of saying to the British public very clearly, with a Conservative government, public spending will be cut. Not reduced in growth, not frozen, but cut.
"That candour is a world away from the current Labour government," he said.