Truss vs Sunak: Better the (economic) devil you know


AS THE cost-of-living crisis has reached unprecedented levels of panic this summer, the Tory leadership contest has failed to shed light on how Britons will survive the winter.

Vague promises of “immediate, targeted support” for the most vulnerable have done little to alleviate fears – especially as the energy price cap continues to skyrocket periodically.

Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson have not put their differences aside to put together an intermediary package – with No 10 insisting measures announced earlier this year would do for now.

But judgement day is nigh for the former two, who, after a dozen hustings and several ‘blue on blue’ debates, will find out who succeeds Johnson.

Though all polls point to the Foreign Secretary being handed the keys to Downing Street, it’s certainly not a dead cert yet – Sunak’s strong ground game could yet ensure he sneaks in as the winner.

And perhaps that may be for the best. Hear us out.

The majority of Redaction readers are Labour voters, and those that aren’t primarily swing further left rather than going Tory.

But while a Keir Starmer-led Labour government – imperfect as that is – may be preferential to either of the two options on show, it’s the cold reality of Westminster politics that on September 6, one of Sunak or Truss will be Prime Minister.

The latter will be far more dangerous.

Running on an ethos of Thatcherism, her solution to easing the cost-of-living crisis amounts to tax cuts, rather than direct, targeted support.

Truss has run a culture war campaign, declaring battle on the ‘woke’ – whatever that means – and slowly dragging the cultural Overton Window to the right.

To add to that, her record as Foreign Secretary, boast about it as she might, has been packed with diplomatic crises.

It’s the dreary economic situation that will be first up for the future PM, however.

The former Chancellor, though he sings the praises of Thatcher, has so far acted in a more pragmatic fashion – and sounds more convincing on the campaign trail.

Research from the Resolution Foundation, outlined below, shows the impact of each of the candidate’s proposals.

It makes one thing clear – insufficient as it is, at least Sunak’s plans will slightly ease the pain of Britain’s poorest.

His valuation of support payments over tax cuts is a glimmer of hope in a dark contest.

Of course, there’s an entirely different discussion here over whether any of the trio – Starmer included – are adequate candidates to lead a nation in crisis. But the UK will have a new Prime Minister in a matter of days. That’s a discussion for another time.

What Britain needs might not be Sunak – but he’s a smidgen better than the alternative.


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Featured Image: Number 10 @Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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