We need a prime minister to handle an economic crisis – that man is Rishi Sunak
Now that the Prime Minister is stepping down, a new Conservative leadership race is looming.
I believe that this competition should revolve around three critical axes. First, the new leader must demonstrate that he can tackle the growing economic problems facing Britain – and provide a long-term vision for the vibrant growing economy we can build. Second, the new Prime Minister must be competent to run the government effectively and build an effective team – experience counts. Third, the new prime minister must have broad appeal. Broad appeal north and south, older and younger, to our traditional supporters, as well as our newly won voters.
High global energy prices and supply chain difficulties are fueling double-digit inflation, levels not seen in the early 1990s. Western central banks, including the Bank of England, took time to appreciate the magnitude of the inflationary threat. Therefore, they catch up and start raising interest rates sharply. Higher rates mean lower growth and pain for owners.
The new prime minister’s short-term economic goal this fall must be to fight inflation, limiting overall government spending while simultaneously ensuring that ordinary citizens can afford basic necessities. That means being tough on public sector wages, cutting fuel taxes and giving targeted tax cuts to the poor and middle-hardened.
Yet, as we deal with these immediate issues, we need to put the right building blocks in place for our economic future. This means a lot more economic growth. How? Through the combination of private sector incentives and a more nimble and efficient government.
In the private sector, we should reduce the regulatory burden on business, introduce simpler and lower taxes to encourage risk-taking and new ideas, and implement sweeping policies to encourage capital investment .
In the public sector, our central government is overstaffed and inefficient. We can see the delays in the DVLA, the Passport Office and the routine acceptance of mediocrity and prying bureaucracy in many quarters. Smaller and more nimble government, delivered through a public sector reform program, can make a real difference.
However, to achieve these goals, the new Prime Minister must be able to govern effectively. This means having experience in government affairs.
The economic, military and energy situation we will face over the next 12 months is truly dire. No matter how talented or visionary he is, unless the new Prime Minister arrives on day one and makes the machinery of government hum, we are not going to get the Conservative government that the country voted for and what it aspire.
Finally, whoever we choose as the new Prime Minister must be someone who can beat Labour. Someone who can convince our traditional supporters and our new ones. Someone who can win over both Remain and Leave voters. Someone who can embody the ambitious future we want for Britain.