Hi Liz Truss! Bye Liz Truss!


Source: cnn.com

Jonathan Mui, Staff Writer

On October 20, 2022, U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss publicly announced that she was resigning after only 45 days in office, officially making her the shortest-serving prime minister in history. In just the last six years, the U.K. is about to have its 5th prime minister.

You may wonder why Truss decided to resign six weeks into her term. Many would say that the economic struggles the U.K. were facing put too much pressure on the newly elected prime minister back in September. While Truss had promised economic reform during her term, she eventually admitted that she could not “deliver the mandate on which [she] was elected by the Conservative Party.”

Truss took office during a time in which the economy was unstable. She received a country that was just beginning to emerge from the hardships of the global pandemic and actively battling the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine War. To make matters worse, Queen Elizabeth II died three days after taking office. The Queen – having reigned through multiple tragedies, economic recessions, and a global pandemic – was a symbol of stability. Her death had sent the entire country into a period of national mourning.

Source: CNN | Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng and Prime Minister Liz Truss

In an attempt to save the economy, Truss’ first plan was to create the most significant tax cut the country has ever seen in 50 years. Without a clear plan to fund this tax cut, Truss and her then Chancellor of the Exchequer (a.k.a. the U.K.’s finance minister), Kwasi Kwarteng, moved forward. Although it was poorly executed, it was a change that they saw as necessary. Kwarteng stated in a letter, “for too long [the United Kingdom] has been dogged by low growth rates and high taxation – and that must still change if this country is to succeed.” Unfortunately, many consequences were soon unveiled. The U.K.’s financial markets soon collapsed and sent the value of the British pound plunging. Truss appointed a new finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, to undo the damages of this failed tax cut. However, Hunt had other plans, reversing almost all tax measures that his predecessor had implemented.

Although Truss had faced many economic challenges during her term, she was willing to attempt to battle them. Hunt told B.B.C. News, “She’s been willing to do that most difficult thing in politics, which is to change track.” This referred to when she went back on her original tax cut plan and made edits to restore the pound’s value. However, with unstable economic conditions, Truss ultimately decided to resign.

Source: Sky News | The value of the pound collapses during Truss’ term

Liz Truss remained prime minister until her successor was chosen, which happened within a week of her resignation. Rishi Sunak, former finance minister, was elected as the new Prime Minister on October 25, 2022. A little more than a week into the job, Sunak had already announced plans he hopes will help advance the country. However, with ongoing challenges like Brexit and soaring inflation rates, many in the country are not at ease yet. Only time will tell if Rishi Sunak was the right choice.