Liz Truss confirmed as new PM: Industry reacts

Liz Truss has been announced as new Prime Minister after receiving 57% of the votes from Conservative Party members, defeating ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the process.

It would be fair to say expectations aren’t high for Truss, as a YouGov poll found that 52% of Britons expect her to be a poor or terrible leader, compared to just 12% who reckon she will be a good or great leader.

Speaking before she was appointed, Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at broker John Charcol, summed up: “Rishi’s policies are far better – especially when it comes to dealing with energy policy.”

Dealing with the energy crisis will form a major part of how Truss is received, as it’s thought her team are working on a support package to mitigate spiralling costs.

Liz Truss

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Truss is putting an awful lot of faith in tax cuts to ease the pain of rising prices and then kick-start economic growth. Of course, we’ll have to see whether all that sticks when the rubber hits the road.

“But with price rises of this scale hitting across the board, and propelling us into the biggest two-year drop in real incomes in a century, the government can’t afford to fall short when considering possible solutions.”

Controversially Truss has pledged to introduce no windfall tax on energy companies, as she said she wants to see companies invest in a transition to green energy.

It’s expected that the National Insurance hike will be reversed, while VAT could be cut from 20% to 15%.

Truss has previously pledged to remove green levies on energy bills, though it remains to be seen how that policy balances with net zero pledges.

Hargreaves Lansdown reckons we could see changes to inheritance tax, as well as possible tax breaks for people who take time out of work for caring responsibilities.

She has pledged to introduce no new taxes, no cuts to public spending, as well as no lump sum payments or ‘handouts’.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “The spiralling cost of household gas and electricity bills has put the energy efficiency of our existing housing stock into sharp focus.

“With unilateral EPC rating targets looming, there is currently no long-term plan that sets out how they will be achieved.

“Propertymark is a strong advocate of making homes more energy efficient as the best solution to bringing down bills.

“However, it is unlikely that significant progress can be made until Ministers better understand the current housing stock and then apply realistic targets based on properties’ individual characteristics with sustained funding for homeowners.”

Members also said improving housing supply must be a priority, given that there are 11 applicants for every rental property as it stands.

Nick Sanderson, chief executive at Audley Group, said: “Our new Prime Minister will have a lot on her plate, but I hope her vocal commitments to social care are not forgotten.

“She is right that focusing on social care will free up space in the NHS, but wrong to think it is only money that can achieve this laudable aim. Housing, health, and social care should all go hand in hand to look at prevention, rather than cure.

“The more age-appropriate housing, with care and wellbeing facilities on site that we build, the lighter the pressure on the system. It’s been proven time and time again that people need fewer stays in hospital and are less likely to end up a care home if they live in the right housing.

“So, I urge Liz Truss and her new cabinet to activate the promised task force on housing for older people and benefit the coffers of the Treasury by focusing on real solutions that need collaboration, not cost.’

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