Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has become the leader of the ruling Conservative Party, set to take charge as the next Prime Minister after Boris Johnson officially tenders his resignation to the Queen on September 6, 2022. Truss defeated her counterpart Rishi Sunak by picking up 57% of membership votes from 180,000 eligible Tories. Former PM Boris Johnson congratulated Truss on the victory and started the process of handover.
Truss is now the 4th consecutive Tory Prime Minister for the last 12 years after David Cameron (2010 – 2016), Theresa May (2016-2019), and Boris Johnson (2019 – 2022). It was a tumultuous period for UK, but Truss is facing the most difficult time with the warnings of recession, industrial unrest, and the worst cost-of-living crisis. Truss has said that she had “bold plans” to cut taxes in order to grow UK’s economy. She has also promised to increase the defence budget and save energy in the long run.
Liz Truss Under Pressure
The new PM is under immediate pressure to ease the cost of living crisis for homes and businesses. Many Britons have shown little faith in Liz as a leader because she refused to answer how she would tackle the energy crisis. According to reports, the household bills will rise from 2000 GBP to 3500+GBP in October. It is said that Liz is considering a freeze on energy bills, but the official announcement is reportedly scheduled for Thursday, 8th September.
The annual rate of inflation is up at 10%, slowing down consumer spending and causing fears for businesses. It seems that there would be no honeymoon period for the new PM as she has a lot of work ahead of her. The leader of Welsh Labor party, Mark Drakeford warned about the coming winter, which could prove detrimental for the millions of UK citizens if quick actions were not taken.
Liz Truss has said to reduce VAT to 15% (from 20%) to help businesses and consumers. Think tanks have criticized the move saying that it would cut revenues by 38 billion GBP annually. Truss’s administration has also been considering increasing the tax-free Personal Allowance (12,750 GBP), the standard amount of income on which people don’t have to pay tax. Truss would also reverse the recent National Insurance increase to fund NHS backlog and other social care. Critics have concerns that such a move would only benefit the high earners, further escalating income inequality. Some also shared a video clip of an interview where Truss acknowledged that it was fair to allow wealthy people have more money through tax cuts.
There have also been warnings about Liz Truss’s “attacks” on worker rights. The newly appointed PM has said to curb the ability of workers to take industrial action and crush trade union activity in the UK. These unions have helped countless workers have equal rights and salary through industrial and legal action. With Liz Truss’s policies it will very difficult for workers to achieve any impact through protests and strikes. They have called her move “undemocratic” and also reassured that they would not be intimidates and would continue to protest against this governmental shackle Liz was planning.