David Cameron insists that Nick Clegg will form part of his "inner circle" in the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government.
The Prime Minister said he did not want the two sides of the coalition to form "caucuses" within government and has told senior ministers - including Chancellor George Osborne - to learn from the expertise of the other side.
Mr Cameron indicated that Mr Clegg could play a role in sacking and appointing ministers, and confirmed that Mr Osborne and Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable will sit together on a Cabinet Committee on the key issue of banking reform.
In an interview with BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Cameron declined to rule out a rise in VAT in the Budget expected in June, saying only: "That's not something we plan to do."
But he made clear that he aims to cut bonuses for senior civil servants by around two-thirds - saving £15 million a year - and would launch a pay review under left-leaning economist Will Hutton to find ways of ensuring that the pay gap between the highest and lowest paid in public sector organisations is no more than a multiple of 20.
And he announced that Mr Osborne will tomorrow launch an audit by the new Office of Budget Responsibility of the Government's books, saying that Labour had made "crazy" spending decisions over the past year that "no rational government would have done".