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Time is against Liz Truss as she bets big on plan to turn economy around

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theguardian.com

When Liz Truss flew to the US this week on her first foreign trip as prime minister, she was unequivocal about how she would achieve her mission in office: “Lower taxes lead to economic growth, there is no doubt in my mind about that.”There was not a quiver of self-doubt in her voice as she gave a round of television interviews at the top of the Empire State Building expanding on her plans for the economy and saying she was “willing to be unpopular” to push them through.The prime minister may not have anticipated just how quickly her own Tory MPs would start criticising her radical new approach, turning Treasury orthodoxy on its head. “I have never known the party so divided,” one sceptical MP said. “She’s clearly decided she goes big or goes home.”Truss is acutely aware that time is not on her side.

She has inherited the worst public finances in a generation, a country going through a cost of living crisis, and creaking public services.

The next general election is two years away. It’s a mammoth task to even start to turn it around before then.However, she also knows she will never be more powerful than her first few weeks in office.

For now, most of her critics on the Tory backbenches are keeping their counsel – at least publicly – and government departments are primed for action.She and her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, have been working on plans for government for over a decade, ever since they wrote their book Britannia Unchained, the first draft of Trussonomics, a rip-roaring ride through free markets, deregulation and the small state.

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