Liz Truss, the newly elected UK prime minister, is taking on a formidable task as she assumes office. Truss emerged victorious in a leadership race within the Conservative party, defeating former finance minister Rishi Sunak. Her tenure begins with a daunting list of challenges, including a cost of living crisis, industrial unrest, and a recession.

In her victory speech, Truss emphasized the need to deliver tangible results for the British public. She pledged to implement an ambitious plan to lower taxes and stimulate economic growth. Additionally, Truss vowed to confront the ongoing energy crisis, which has caused energy bills to skyrocket and raised concerns about future energy supply.

Truss’s appointment marks a transition from the previous prime minister, Boris Johnson, who resigned amid multiple scandals. As Johnson formally tenders his resignation, Truss will meet with Queen Elizabeth to form a new government.

Truss will become the fourth Conservative prime minister since the 2015 election, during which the UK has faced a series of crises. The nation is currently grappling with a recession triggered by surging inflation, which reached 10.1% in July.

As the former foreign minister under Boris Johnson, Truss has expressed her commitment to swiftly addressing the cost of living crisis. She has promised to present a comprehensive plan within a week to tackle rising energy bills and ensure a steady fuel supply. However, some economists have voiced concerns that her proposed measures, such as tax cuts, could worsen inflation.

Investors have responded to Truss’s leadership by selling off the pound and government bonds, reflecting worries about her economic policies. To allay market concerns, potential finance minister candidate Kwasi Kwarteng emphasized the importance of fiscal responsibility.

Truss faces an extensive and complex agenda, with opposition lawmakers blaming the current challenges on 12 years of Conservative government. While some have called for an early election, Truss has ruled out this possibility.

Political veteran David Davis has described the prime minister’s challenges as among the most difficult in post-war history, perhaps second only to Margaret Thatcher in 1979. The costs associated with addressing these challenges could reach tens of billions of pounds.

To navigate these obstacles, Truss has pledged to assemble a strong cabinet and reject a “presidential-style” form of governance. Nevertheless, she may face the task of winning over lawmakers within her own party who supported Sunak in the leadership race.

Truss’s immediate priority will be tackling the sharp rise in energy prices, which are set to burden households with significantly higher utility bills. Other major European countries have already implemented measures to support consumers, leaving the UK lagging behind. The government has announced a £15 billion support package, but critics argue that more substantial action is necessary.

Italy has allocated over €52 billion this year to assist its citizens, while France has limited electricity bill increases to 4%. Germany recently announced a minimum spending of €65 billion to shield consumers and businesses from rising inflation.

As Liz Truss assumes the role of UK prime minister, she confronts a demanding array of challenges. Addressing the cost of living crisis, tackling the energy crisis, and navigating a recession will require strong leadership and effective policy measures. Truss has expressed her dedication to producing results, but ultimately her success will hinge on her ability to navigate these complex issues and garner support both within her party and from the wider public.

Useful links:
1. BBC – Liz Truss: Who is the new UK prime minister?
2. The Guardian – Who is Liz Truss, the UK’s new prime minister?