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Liz Truss’ Political Challenges She Faced

Britain’s new prime minister takes office sixth September, litter more than 48 hours after her arrival at 10 Downing Street, the Queen Elizabeth II died. In addition of this, The United Kingdom is heading for a recession, she will face a mass of policy challenges of a variety and scale almost unprecedented for a postwar leader.


Inflation and Cost of Living

Inflation rose above 10% in July for the first time during 40 years and forecast by the Bank of England to hit a jaw-dropping 13 percent next month. It was driven by the rising cost of energy and food. Speaking on her arrival in Downing Street, Truss said she would “ride out the storm”, promising help with energy bills as well as tax cuts.


Simply freezing prices and hiding the inflation in long-dated loans to energy suppliers is the simplest and most politically appealing approach. But the incoming prime minister is in a bind. If her government borrows a lot of money, it risks further fanning inflation and inflaming burgeoning fears among investors that the country’s finances are becoming unsustainable.


NHS and public services

Large number of people forced to live in freezing homes or skip meals will exacerbate already crippling pressures on the health service. The annual winter pressures on the health service mean things are only about to get worse, without even accounting for the impact of a COVID resurgence. This is in part because of the pandemic putting the National Health Service under greater strain, but it is also because of staff shortages and insufficient funding, the British Medical Association says.

There are similar staffing and funding problems in social care, schools, universities and local government.


War in Ukraine

Compared with the previous two policy areas, this is not one where Truss will have to think overly long about her options. Truss will maintain his steadfast support for Ukraine’s battle against Russian invaders. But the war has dragged on far longer than Western governments predicted. The U.K. has given billions of pounds worth of support of Ukrainian forces so far and there is no sign of a resolution anytime soon.


The parliamentary party

The biggest danger for Truss also comes from her Conservative MPs, who are now rather well versed in regicide. Truss inherits a splintered and ill-tempered parliamentary party, less than a third of whom backed her leadership bid before she made the final runoff.


Truss came second to her rival Rishi Sunak when Conservative MPs reached the last round of voting before putting the final two candidates to the party. Party discipline is going to be her biggest challenge as PM, argues a piece in the Financial Times. “The parliamentary party has become almost ungovernable,” a senior government insider says in the piece. “They did for Boris, and they may do for Liz too.” Many MPs believe she is simply not up to the job and that her aggressive campaign has alienated even some of the most loyal Conservatives.


Strikes

Throughout this year, barristers, transportation workers, postal workers  are on strike and there’s the prospect of industrial action from civil servants, doctors, nurses and teachers on the not-very-distant horizon. In many of the cases, union bosses have blamed the government for failing to meet their demands and break the deadlock.


These strikes will have an obvious knock-on effect for productivity and economic growth, something Truss has vowed to improve in here economic plan.