Liz Truss Is the UK’s New Prime Minister – a New Margaret Thatcher?

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Liz Truss is elected the United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister, replacing the now-disgraced Boris Johnson. She wants to follow in Margaret Thatcher’s footsteps.

Liz Truss, formerly the U.K.’s foreign minister, beat rival Rishi Sunak, the country’s former finance minister, to win the leadership race with the result announced on Monday.

CNBC reports that Truss has taken around 57% of the vote, while Sunak achieved 42% of the vote.

Her family, youth, and background were very liberal, but she embraced conservatism while a student at Oxford. She has expressed a desire to be a modern-day Margaret Thatcher.

Liz Truss had been chief secretary to the Treasury. During her time at the Treasury, Truss argued against government bureaucracy and state interventions in people’s lives, as well as against higher government spending that she said would mean higher taxes, saying this would mean the Tories were “crushed” at the polls.

According to USA Today, Truss, 47, has sought to portray herself as the political heir to Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s “Iron Lady” and the first female leader who advocated with zeal for free markets, lower taxes, and the privatization of large state enterprises from telecoms to energy. Truss served in Johnson’s government, first as a trade minister and then as foreign secretary. She has taken a hardline stance on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

“The thread that runs through Truss’s career is a belief in small government,” Daniel Hannan, a former Conservative party politician, wrote in an opinion piece published on his website. Hannan is now known as Lord Hannan of Kingsclere in the House of Lords, the unelected upper House of Parliament to which he was appointed by Johnson.

Speculation has it that she is a fan of Reaganomics.

She pledged tax cuts on the campaign trail, including reversing a rise in the rate of National Insurance, which benefits the rich, and promising no new tax rises and no energy rationing.

She has argued that instead of funding tax cuts with reduced public spending, the U.K. should issue more debt and extend the maturity of its public debt.

Truss has also been keen to appear business-friendly (a far cry from her predecessor Johnson who once famously quipped ’F— business”) as she has promised to scrap a planned rise in corporation tax from 19% to 25% that was set to come into force in 2023.

In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, Truss said she would announce a plan to deal with the U.K.’s rising energy costs within a week of taking office, although she offered no details on how she would do this. She had announced several weeks ago that she would introduce an emergency budget in the first few weeks of taking office to ensure support was on its way as bills rise.

She has already announced that she would temporarily suspend green levies on energy bills. Still, experts say she will have to dig far deeper to tackle a looming crisis with British energy bills expected to hit over $4,000 a year per household in 2023 if action is not taken.

Truss has also indicated that she would review the Bank of England’s mandate. She indicated that she could consider curbing the central bank’s independent decision-making on interest rates.

Once opposed to Brexit, she now supports it.

The new Prime Minister praised Boris Johnson upon election. That was nice, but, hopefully, she won’t be another Boris.


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