New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, one of the first to pick holes in predecessor Liz Truss’ economic plan, said today that although she made “mistakes”, he admired her “restlessness to create change”. Mrs. Truss’s plan – based on massive unfunded tax cuts – eventually saw her out of office just 49 days after she took over.
In his maiden speech to the people as Prime Minister, Mr Sunak spoke of the “deep” economic crisis facing the country. “The aftermath of Covid continues. Putin’s (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s) war has destabilized supply chains…” he said.
“I want to pay tribute to my predecessor, Liz Truss. It was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country. It is a noble goal. And I admired her restlessness to bring about change. But some mistakes were made. ill will or ill intent. Quite the contrary, yet mistakes. And I have been chosen as leader of my party and your prime minister, in part, to rectify them. And that work begins immediately,” Rishi Sunak said.
Liz Truss had left the top position after her mini-budget plan shocked the markets. “Given the situation, I cannot carry out the mandate for which I have been elected,” she had told media.
During the leadership contest earlier this year, Rishi Sunak had criticized Liz Truss’s tax-cutting agenda. He said he wouldn’t cut taxes until inflation was under control. He had also outlined a plan to cut income taxes from 20 percent to 16 percent by 2029.
In his speech today, he said he would place “economic stability and competence at the heart of this government’s agenda”.
On leaving 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister, Ms Truss had wished Mr Sunak “good luck” and said she was “more convinced than ever” that Britain needed to be “courageous” to face the challenges. to deal with what it was confronted with.
Sunak faces the challenge of not only coming up with a solution to the economic challenges, but getting it approved by his conservative party, which remains deeply divided on key issues such as higher taxes, tax cuts and spending.
Higher taxes are likely to be vehemently opposed by a section in the party. Others will oppose austerity in key areas such as health and defense.
In his speech today, Mr Sunak also praised former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He said he would always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his “incredible achievements” as Prime Minister and appreciate his warmth and generosity.