Liz Truss faces perhaps the most daunting in-tray of any new UK prime minister in recent times. The economy is forecast to slip into recession, inflation is in double-digits for the first time in 40 years, real wages have fallen at their sharpest rate on record and consumer confidence is at a near-50-year low. The government is under huge pressure to respond swiftly to help individuals and businesses manage the cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy costs fuelled by the conflict in Ukraine. This toxic mix of factors has darkened the outlook for the public finances and threatens to limit the government’s room for manoeuvre. Interest rates are also on the rise.
On the political front, Labour is ahead of the Conservatives in the polls following the so-called partygate scandal and policy U-turns of the Boris Johnson administration. Truss may need to move quickly to unite her party behind her agenda after a bruising leadership contest amid expectations the challenging policy outlook means she will have a shorter honeymoon period than previous leaders.
This Dods Political Intelligence report pulls together pledges and statements made by Truss in recent weeks and before the Conservative leadership campaign to provide a one-stop guide to her plans for tackling key policy challenges from the cost of living to climate change.