Following the Conservative Party election results released on Monday (September 5), the Truss is assembling a cabinet to tackle the scale of the challenges facing the nation.
The fourth chancellor in three years, Kwarteng will lead the charge for “reviving the economy”, a pledge made in Truss’ first speech outside Downing Street.
Truss also promised to “get Britain working again”, hinting at a plan for growth achieved through “tax cuts and reforms” and building infrastructure. In the near term, the new Prime Minister has reiterated her commitment to tackling electricity bills to prevent a projected 9.2 million households from being hit by the new electricity bill next year.
While no plans have yet been confirmed, the political word is that bills could be capped at around £2,500 for the average family, a policy that would be paid for by borrowing in excess of £100 billion pounds.
Sean Moore, a tax and financial planning expert at Quilter, said the new chancellor faces an upcoming challenge that echoes Rishi Sunak’s oversight of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Following this, coupled with many other global challenges from supply chain bottlenecks to the devastating ongoing war in Ukraine, the country now faces a rapid economic slowdown and rising interest rates,” he explained. “So there will be immediate questions about how and when the relief will come and ultimately how it will be paid for.”
Tax cuts have been a central feature of Truss’ leadership bid, but Moore notes they are likely to face criticism if they are seen to benefit wealthier families and do little to support the country’s poorest.
Elsewhere, Jacob Rhys-Mogg takes on Kwarteng’s former role as business, energy and industrial strategy secretary and is already causing havoc with his oft-expressed skepticism about the seriousness of climate change, backed by climate secretary Graham Stewart.
Suella Braverman replaces Priti Patel as Home Secretary, James Cleverley takes Truss’s former role as Foreign Secretary, and Theresa Coffey becomes both Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, displacing Dominic Raab and Steve Barclay.