Historical inflation, falling purchasing power, excessively high prices, strikes and low popularity: there are many challenges for Liz Truss, the new prime minister and leader of the Conservative party in the United Kingdom. She was received this Tuesday (6) by Queen Elizabeth II, which makes her replacement for Boris Johnson’s term official.
Inflation in the UK reached 10,1% in July and is expected to reach 13% in October, according to the Bank of England. Inflation could rise even further, up to 22% in the coming months, according to the multinational bank Goldman Sachs.
The energy crisis may cause bills to accumulate a rise of 87% in October, according to consultancy Auxilione. According to the NGO National Energy Action, around 9 million households are in a situation of “energy poverty”, which means that they spend more than % of income on electricity and gas bills. Last year, 4.5 million homes were in this situation.
On Monday, Truss declared that this will be one of the priority issues in the coming weeks of government. The forecast is that the United Kingdom will disburse more than 80 billion pounds (almost 482 billion reais) to overcome this crisis. This was the cost for economic recovery plans during the coronavirus crisis.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 300 strikes have taken place in the UK, especially among transport and healthcare professionals. Kevin Rowan, leader of British trade union organizations, announced that in the coming months the demonstrations should increase, due to the greater mobilization of civil servants trying to negotiate salary increases.
Low popularity on the streets and in the party
According to a recent poll by YouGov, the UK-based polling system, 52% of Brits estimate that Truss will be a “bad or very bad prime minister”.
In addition, the election within the Conservative Party, which defined Truss as the new prime minister, had the smallest margin of victory in UK history. With her 57% of votes, with one in five party members not voting, Liz Truss gathers less than 50% of Conservative support, as pointed out by the Institute for Government.
Truss also faces the challenge of reuniting the party in relation to to Brexit. As Minister for Foreign Trade, she became the UK’s leading trade negotiation agent after Brexit. This changed her stance from 2016 when she voted for the UK to remain in the European Union.