1) Who Could Replace Liz Truss?
Nobody can deny that Liz Truss was a terrible front person for her economic policies, with a demeanor that had all the reassurance of a random stranger plucked off the street to become the headteacher of your local school. She has been barred from the lab after turning her citizens into lab rats for an experiment hatched in the boardrooms of opaquely funded right-wing think tanks. Buried by the very “markets” she once adored, the prime minister is terminally wounded, facing policies she would have slammed as coming from the “anti-growth coalition” just days ago. Demanding Truss’ removal is a bit of a moot point because she is no longer in power in any meaningful sense.
But watch out for what happens in the coming days and weeks. We must not allow the Conservative Party to blame Truss for everything, then anoint her successor and regroup and reset as if everything is back to normal.
One of the reasons our country is in such disarray is the rehabilitation of monsters, or, at the very least, the lack of accountability for villains. The Tory knack for reinvention is dependent on it, which is why they’ve survived overseeing what has been, by many accounts, the most disastrous time in the office of any government in living memory. Let us not forget what happened to Theresa May, who was condemned to remain in office by her party after carelessly disposing of the Conservatives’ parliamentary majority, in the hope that she would absorb the political mortar fire otherwise directed at the Conservatives as a whole. When that function was completed, May could be safely discarded, with Boris Johnson heralded as the leader of a new government free of the sins of his predecessor.
You can also see it when George Osborne appears as a witness rather than an accused in the dock on Channel 4’s flagship political program. No single politician is more responsible for British society’s burning skip: his ideologically charged austerity is at the root of the longest wage squeeze in modern history, fueling the discontent that proved pivotal in Brexit’s victory in the 2016 referendum. He now scoffs at economic policies that defy market rules, as if Britain’s AAA-rated debt status hadn’t been revoked because of his economic stewardship.
But, more importantly, take note of our new de facto prime minister, Jeremy Hunt. According to one political commentator, “listening to Hunt in interviews this morning [was] like arriving at a calm blue sea after weeks in a force 10 storm.” It’s difficult not to conclude that for many self-described moderates, politics is all about vibe rather than substance: a politician’s track record is less important than the reassurance provided by their presentation skills. Hunt admitted that, as health secretary, he was too slow to increase the NHS workforce: a euphemistic revision of how he ignored severe NHS staff shortages, leaving us unprepared for the pandemic. Given that he campaigned for corporation tax cuts even lower than Truss had hoped for, how can he credibly claim to offer a meaningful alternative to Trussonomics? His new “economic advisory council” is made up of fund managers and bankers, two of the few groups in society that can claim to have profited from the recent downturn.
This is an ideologically committed austerity who praised “the genius of David Cameron and George Osborne” in 2019 for “persuading the country to accept the most difficult cuts to public spending in our peacetime history without poll tax riots.” This is why he will have no qualms about imposing another round of cuts, stifling growth, and exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis.
Then there’s Rishi Sunak, who has become widely regarded as a vindicated prophet as a result of his early opposition to Trussonomics. Observing a driver loudly intending to accelerate a car over a cliff does not qualify you as a soothsayer. This is a man who boasted about stealing money from poor urban communities to benefit wealthy Tory districts, who called for those who “vilify” the UK to be treated as extremists, the kind of unhinged authoritarianism you’d expect from Viktor Orbán. As chancellor, he successfully advocated for lockdown skeptics and ensured that restrictions were delayed until autumn 2020, only for them to be imposed more harshly and for a longer period when infections spiraled out of control. Sunak isn’t the only adult in the room; he’s one of the establishment’s guilty men.
Penny Mordaunt and Ben Wallace, the two other candidates for prime minister, may be portrayed as “cleanskins,” but they, too, supported the slash-and-burn economics that has left Britain poorer amid a productivity crisis, with creaking infrastructure and flailing public services. This is why we must not portray Truss as an anomaly or an abomination. This was no spasm, no ideological whim, but the logical conclusion of 12 slanderous years. This was a collaborative effort between Conservative Party productions, Cameroons and Eurosceptics, Spartans and Johnsonites, One Nation Conservatives, and the European Research Group. To put it another way, they were all in this together. And there is no hope until they all – every single one of them – are removed from office and the Tory party is rendered unelectable for the next generation.
2) The UK’s new Finance Minister reverses all of Prime Minister Liz Truss’ tax cuts
To reassure jittery financial markets, Britain’s new chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, reversed almost all of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s tax cuts announced in the mini-budget last month and scaled back support for expensive energy bills in an emergency fiscal statement on Monday.
Hunt’s emergency financial statement is an attempt to reassure markets about the country’s fiscal sustainability and to soothe the shockwaves caused by his predecessor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget earlier this month. Hunt stated that a one-penny income tax cut will be delayed “indefinitely” until the UK’s finances improve, rather than being implemented in April 2023 as announced by his predecessor.
The government’s energy price guarantee will only be in effect until April of next year, rather than the two years originally planned.
In a statement, Hunt explained that the company had decided to “announce these revisions before the medium-term financial plan in two weeks.”
He announced the repeal of almost all of the tax measures outlined in Kwarteng’s so-called Growth Plan, which had yet to be legislated in Parliament.
With the 1p cut canceled, the basic rate of income tax will remain at 20% in perpetuity, amounting to approximately GBP 6 billion per year.
The 1.25 percentage point increase in dividend tax, which went into effect in April this year and is estimated to cost around GBP 1 billion per year, will now be retained.
Further reversals include the cancellation of a new VAT-free shopping scheme for non-UK visitors to the UK, as well as the freezing of alcohol duty rates for a year beginning in February 2023.
Regarding the energy price guarantee, which assists households and businesses with soaring electricity bills, Hunt stated that the goal of limiting it to six months is to design a new approach that will cost the taxpayer significantly less than planned, while still providing adequate support for those in need.
Any business assistance will be targeted to those who are most affected, and the new approach will better incentivize energy efficiency. Stability is the most important goal for our country right now, according to Hunt.
Following meetings with Prime Minister Liz Truss at her Chequers country retreat and the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, on Sunday, the new finance minister who took over at the UK Treasury on Friday decided to expedite some of the measures before the publication of a detailed Medium-Term Fiscal Plan on October 31.
Following the end of the Bank of England’s emergency long-term government bond-buying measures, it was widely expected that more of the so-called Trussonomics of unfunded tax cuts would be dropped in Monday’s statement.
On Monday evening, there will be a statement in the House of Commons.
The UK Treasury confirmed that the Governor of the Bank of England and the Head of the UK’s Debt Management Office have been briefed on these new plans, which appear to be having an immediate positive impact on markets, with the Pound Sterling regaining ground against the US Dollar.
Bond markets also suggested that recent pressures were easing, despite additional concerns in some quarters following the Bank of England’s end of emergency gilt market support on Friday.
The central bank issued its statement ahead of the weekend’s opening of financial markets, claiming that its operations, aimed at assisting pension funds dealing with increased collateral demands, had as a result, there was a “notable rise in the sector’s resilience.”
The markets experienced unprecedented volatility following former Chancellor Kwarteng’s tax-cutting mini-budget, owing in part to the lack of an OBR forecast of how these would be funded.
Meanwhile, Truss is still in turmoil after firing good friend Kwarteng after only 38 days on the job, with at least three of her backbench Conservative MPs calling for a leadership change.
Conservative MPs Crispin Blunt, Andrew Bridgen, and Jamie Wallis have all publicly stated that she should resign, while Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has summoned Truss to Parliament and accused her of being “in office but not in power.”
While Hunt has insisted that the Prime Minister remains in charge, many believe that the new finance minister is now the de facto leader as he unravels the majority of the economic policies Truss campaigned on during the leadership race with former Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
3) Liz Truss resigns? Here are Potential UK PM replacements.
Liz Truss, who became prime minister a month ago, could be done after her U-turn on corporation tax cuts and dismissal of her finance minister.
Truss is clutching to her chair, according to British media. Truss threw up the mini budget that shook financial markets and replaced Kwasi Kwarteng with Jeremy Hunt to survive the political crisis. Following her announcement, government borrowing costs soared and the pound plummeted.
Estimated GBP 45 billion in tax cuts without a specific finance plan were devastating for the UK economy as inflation soared.
Some senior Conservative MPs are pondering whether to officially ask for her resignation in the coming days, the Guardian said.
Who could replace Liz Truss as the Conservatives’ fifth prime minister since Brexit and third since Boris Johnson’s 2019 victory?
Several Tory MPs still like the Indian-origin MP, who lost to Liz Truss in the last leadership race. Rishi Sunak said Truss’ £30bn plan for unfunded tax cuts will cause “misery for millions” in August.
“The economy’s red lights are due to inflation. He said, “I’m fearful Liz Truss’s initiatives will make things worse.”
Rishi Sunak is a 2015 MP. Richmond, Yorkshire, elected him. Sunak progressed swiftly in the Conservative party and supported ‘Brexit’ He backed Boris Johnson’s “leave EU” campaign.
Sunak was named Chancellor of the Exchequer in February 2020, making history. His pandemic economic package helped firms and employees.
The deal supposedly prevented mass unemployment in the UK.
His popularity took a knock after the ‘party game’ (breaching Covid restrictions and organizing lockdown parties at government offices), and he was punished by the London Police.
Sunak, whose mutiny brought down Boris Johnson, is now a favorite for PM.
Boris Johnson, who led the Conservatives to a 2019 victory, resigned after an ethical scandal and cabinet resignations. This followed months of scandals and errors, including a devastating assessment investigating alcohol parties at his Downing Street apartment and office that contravene Covid-19 lockout guidelines and a birthday party fine.
“We’ve restored democracy and independence. We helped this country through a pandemic and another from savagery. That’s it. Mostly completed mission “Johnson defended his government’s record in his closing speech.
As things stand, Johnson might make a spectacular return to power as he still has a core of followers who believed his departure was unfair, and that number has grown as Tory MPs and members seek anything that could save the party from electoral annihilation, The Guardian said.
Penny Mordaunt might also be prime minister. Liz Truss overtook Mordaunt in the PM race’s fifth and final round.
Mordaunt, 49, was the UK’s defense secretary for 85 days. During her brief tenure, she implemented a pay raise to ensure no service member was paid below the living wage.
She’s been an armed-forces minister and international-development secretary. Mordaunt’s public opinion suffered after she endorsed Boris Johnson’s challenger in the 2019 PM race.
Ben Wallace is another Tory leader untarnished by Boris Johnson scandals and Liz Truss’ mini-budget repercussions. Wallace was a favorite to replace Boris Johnson, but he opted not to run. His reasons are unclear.
Ben Wallace stayed on when ministers quit, bringing down the Boris Johnson cabinet. Wallace said he had to keep the country safe.
He would seem non-ideological, reassuring, competent, and boring, according to The Guardian.
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