The UK is due to have a new Prime Minister by May, and it has been unclear who will be the next leader of the government. Rishi Sunak has been touted as the next leader, while Liz Truss has been a key Cabinet member for the last decade. Both candidates have pledged to fight the cost of living crisis and are seen as ‘pragmatic’ when it comes to public borrowing. Both candidates have also been a major figure in Boris Johnson’s political career.
Rishi Sunak’s ‘pragmatism’ on public borrowing
When Rishi Sunak delivered his first Budget two years ago, he was responding to the pandemic of covid-19. However, measures adopted in a crisis are no guide to future policies. It is also difficult to gauge Rishi Sunak’s fiscal conservatism from his recent speech. As a result, he is likely to face a tough choice soon.
Rishi Sunak’s ‘practicism’ on public borrowing should be questioned. Although he labelled piling up debt to pay for the welfare of future generations immoral, he has also justified a rise in taxes and the cut to Universal Credit. He has also left the door open for tax cuts before the next election. As a chancellor, Rishi Sunak crafted a number of growth plans, including a hike in the corporation tax from 19% to 25% in April 2023. He is also strengthening incentives for investment.
Liz Truss’s pledge to tackle a cost-of-living crisis
As Britain faces a cost-of-living crisis, Liz Truss has pledged to act immediately if she becomes UK’s next PM. She will also promise to appoint a Council of Economic Advisers to help tackle the costs. However, she refused to provide further details of her plan, saying it was not the time.
Although she has not specified a specific strategy, Ms Truss has already made some policies that could help tackle the problem. These include cutting the rise in National Insurance contributions and removing the green levy on energy bills. She has also pledged to cut VAT by five per cent – the amount charged on goods and services – and to reduce the UK’s reliance on imported goods.
Boris Johnson’s decision to remain in caretaker role
Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson has resigned from his role as leader, but he will remain in power as “caretaker prime minister”. His decision follows a formal process set out by his predecessors, but some Conservative MPs think it is a mistake. They have called on the 1922 Committee to alter the rules.
The Lib Dems and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer have both backed a motion for Johnson’s resignation. The Tory MP Aaron Bell has said that if the PM is not able to fill ministerial posts, it would be untenable for him to stay on as caretaker pm. Meanwhile, the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said she would not support Johnson’s decision.
Zahawi’s political career
Nadhim Zahawi is a British-Iraqi politician. He is the current Chancellor of the Exchequer. He is a member of the Conservative Party. He has been the Member of Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon since 2010.
Zahawi was born in Iraq, where his Kurdish family fled to Britain in the mid-1970s. He has a long history in British politics, having served as an aide to former Conservative Party leader Jeffrey Archer, who was imprisoned for perjury in 2001. Zahawi later co-founded a polling company, YouGov, which specialised in surveys of political opinion. In 2010, Zahawi was elected as the Conservative Party’s MP for Stratford-upon-Avon. Five years later, he was appointed the government’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Education.