By Anjali Nayak
Following her failed tax-cutting and revolts within her own Conservative Party, Lizz Truss resigned after a mere forty-five days in office. As the shortest-serving prime minister in Great Britain’s history, Liz Truss will forever represent a legacy of political dysfunction in the European country. But, how did we get here and what does this mean for the future of Great Britain?
Even in her own party, Liz Truss was an exception. Truss guaranteed economic growth by cutting corporations’ taxes. Like most of the Conservative Party, opponent Rishi Sunak instead pushed for actions to tame the ongoing inflation.
Nevertheless, Truss beats Sunak on a technicality. Truss replaced sitting prime minister Boris Johnson, meaning that she doesn’t need to win in a general election. She only needed to win in this intraparty contest, which involved winning the votes of approximately 160,000 members of the Conservative Party. Who are these people? Older, whiter, richer, and more conservative.
All of whom would find a tax cut uniquely attractive.
On Tuesday, September 6, 2022, Liz Truss took office. Only two days later Queen Elizabeth died. Truss is suddenly plunged into a moment of high visibility, and the country has to wait two full weeks before the government can govern. When the Parliament reconvenes, Kwasi Kwarteng (Liz Truss’s chancellor) announces the tax cuts. More radical than expected, the plan includes tax cuts for ordinary citizens, tax breaks for corporations, and a tax cut for wealthy business owners.
The underfunded taxes approximate tens of billions of dollars.
Unsurprisingly, Great Britain enters absolute financial turmoil. The tax cuts make the pound drop in value to just $1.34. This takes the currency to its lowest value since the early ’70s. Consequently, life is more expensive for the Brits. When the value of a country’s currency is lower, then everything gets more expensive at a moment when inflation is already a huge problem.
Truss then fired Kwarteng and Jeremy Hunt became chancellor. Immediately, within a day he created a series of U-turns on the tax cuts. Within three days, Truss’s plan had been practically eviscerated. Finally, on October 20, Lizz Struss resigned from office. Almost immediately after, she was replaced by Rishi Sunak.