Liz Truss faces a protracted listing of robust challenges after taking workplace as prime minister tomorrow, following a summer season of strikes, water shortages and hovering inflation.
Truss beat rival Rishi Sunak by securing 57% of the vote, racking up 81,326 to his 60,399 – a decrease margin than any earlier Tory chief chosen by get together members.
And she or he might have “one of many shortest political honeymoons in fashionable historical past” as she begins tackling her “daunting in-tray”, stated the Monetary Instances (FT). This summer season’s “prolonged political vacuum” means the brand new PM will “want to maneuver quick to become familiar with coverage challenges of big proportions”.
After taking up from Boris Johnson, Truss will face a rustic that “clamours for solutions to large questions” that his “caretaker authorities” had felt “unempowered to tackle”, stated the BBC’s political editor Chris Mason.
Listed below are 5 of essentially the most urgent questions that the UK’s new chief might want to deal with.
What cost-of-living assistance will UK households get?
Truss confronted rising calls through the management marketing campaign to stipulate her plans for tackling the cost-of-living disaster, as inflation hit double digits and concern grew over hovering power costs. In an article within the Day by day Mail final month, Johnson wrote that “whoever takes over from me” would announce “one other large bundle of monetary help” for struggling UK households.
A spokesperson for Truss stated final week that as PM she would “guarantee individuals get the help wanted to get by these robust occasions” – but in addition insisted that no selections can be made till the top of the management contest.
Nonetheless, in line with The Instances, her “allies and officers” have held talks with power business leaders “to debate plans for a fuel and electrical energy value freeze”.
The Telegraph reported final week that the “menu of choices” that the Treasury will current to the brand new PM additionally features a “nuclear” VAT reduce of 5% that may save the typical family greater than £1,300 yearly. Truss was additionally stated to have been contemplating extending a 5p reduce in gas obligation that was on account of finish in March.
And at the ultimate hustings occasion within the management election, she stated there can be “no new taxes” if she grew to become PM.
How will she deal with pressing international coverage points?
The “clearest thought” of what Truss’s management could possibly be like is in terms of international affairs, stated The Spectator’s Katy Balls. As international secretary, Truss “was held again by Boris Johnson”. As PM, she’s prone to “take a extra muscular stance in opposition to aggressors”.
Johnson’s “vigorous help for Ukraine is just not in any nice jeopardy”, stated The Economist. Visiting Kyiv can be “a precedence and her first international name” can be to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, stated Balls. However her stance could possibly be “extra hawkish” than Johnson’s, as Truss “abhors solutions of Ukraine reducing any peace deal”.
Relations with the EU “hit a nadir” underneath Johnson, stated the FT. And although her predecessor gave French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal of a European “political group” “some lip-service”, Truss is “unlikely” to do the identical, stated Balls. In the course of the hustings, she stated the one factor the EU understood was “power” – and that the “jury is out” on whether or not Macron is a “buddy or foe” to the UK.
However “the primary main parliamentary take a look at” Truss is prone to face is “a full-frontal assault” on the federal government’s plans to rewrite the Northern Eire Protocol, stated Politico. The “explosive” protocol invoice is “going through an actual battle” within the Home of Lords, the place it’s seen as “an govt energy seize”, giving UK ministers “the ability to disregard essential elements of the painstakingly negotiated Brexit deal”.
“The stakes are excessive, and friends are in no temper to compromise,” stated the information website.
Can she calm the general public sector disaster?
Truss “will instantly face the wrath of union leaders” who’ve “flexed their muscle mass” over pay and dealing situations throughout a sequence of walkouts this summer season, stated the FT.
In August, the previous international secretary promised to cease the “militant commerce unions holding our nation to ransom” if she grew to become chief.
She plans to create new legal guidelines “inside a month of taking workplace” that may introduce “minimal service ranges on important nationwide infrastructure” to maintain transport and different providers operating, the Day by day Categorical stated. Poll thresholds would even be raised “to make it tougher for strike motion to happen throughout all sectors”.
With hundreds of individuals ready for hospital remedy and the NHS going through a staffing disaster, addressing the well being service’s “creaking infrastructure” may even be important, stated the Categorical. Truss has stated she needs to treatment “micro-management” throughout the system, and has vowed “to cut back Whitehall management”.
However Richard Murray, head of well being think-tank the King’s Fund, has warned that the PM’s plan to spend £13bn of presidency funding allotted to clearing ready listing backlogs on social care as a substitute can be “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, The Guardian reported.
How will she safe the UK’s power provides?
The problem on the root of the cost-of-living disaster is how one can defend the UK from fluctuations within the wholesale value of oil and fuel. The Instances reported final week that Truss is ready to approve as many as 130 new oil and fuel drilling licences within the North Sea as “one in every of her first acts as prime minister”. This could be a part of a “two-pronged strategy” to safe “extra fuel” from Norway and maximise home manufacturing.
Nonetheless, these “exploration” licences “are unlikely to convey costs down within the speedy future”. Environmental campaigners argue that oil and fuel produced within the UK shall be bought on a worldwide market, thereby “providing little profit to home customers”.
In the meantime, Truss has been “silent on insulation or power effectivity investments” that may decrease fossil gas dependency and “really convey down payments”, stated Donnachadh McCarthy in The Impartial. She stated she was in opposition to increasing the UK’s renewable power community, significantly on photo voltaic farms. However quickly her “vacation from actuality should finish”, stated Paul Mason in The New European.
“Throwing out insults on the entrepreneurs and – sure – farmers who’ve quickly scaled up Britain’s photo voltaic capability within the years since subsidies have been withdrawn is the sort of factor you do if there aren’t any civil servants to remind you of the information,” Mason stated.
Can the Conservative Occasion be united?
In July, a televised Tory management debate “uncovered the get together’s brutal divisions”, stated Rachel Wearmouth in The New Statesman. And the controversy made clear that the brand new PM will inherit “a fearful get together deeply divided about what lies forward”.
Based on YouGov polling, 84% of Conservative voters imagine the Tory get together is split, with simply 5% saying it’s united. After 12 years in energy, 4 basic elections and now a fourth prime minister, “the exhaustion could also be too nice and the rifts too deep for the get together to get well”, stated The Economist.
Uniting the “bitterly divided get together is prime”, stated The Instances. “Removed from abating, the resentment” between the Truss and Sunak camps “solely intensified” as their management campaigns “dragged on” this summer season.
“Truss believes that there’s a path to unity,” the newspaper stated. However a senior ally advised the paper that they suppose uniting the Tories is “past doable”.
Sunak’s supporters “will transfer in opposition to her”, they continued. “This winter goes to be terrible.”