From the economy to NHS waiting lists: the most pressing issues facing the next prime minister | conservatives

Who became prime minister this week – most likely Rishi Sunak or Boris Johnson – He’ll face the toughest in anyone’s box at No. 10 for decades. These are the pressing issues on which they will have to make decisions in the coming months.

financial plan

Sunak declared that reforming the economy is a priority. The Treasury is facing a £40 billion black hole and interim adviser, Jeremy Hunt, is working on a plan to increase the amounts by October 31, but that will mean big cuts. The new prime minister will have to make a call about the size of the cuts – or whether he will opt for tax increases instead.


One of the biggest decisions on this front is to increase interest rates in line with inflation. Most centrists within the party believe that this is necessary and that any attempt to deviate from this will not pass through Parliament.

Public sector salaries and strikes

Public sector wages are a similar problem when it comes to inflation. Nurses, healthcare staff, ambulance drivers, teachers, train drivers, civil servants, university lecturers and many more Looking at the strikes This winter in the face of real wage cuts. The government may have to reconsider their settlements if it is to avoid widespread disturbance in society.

NHS winter crisis and waiting lists

The NHS In a dire situation as winter approaches with the “twin” threat of the Covid and flu season, demoralizing staff and long waits for operations, GP appointments, emergency and accident services and ambulances. The new prime minister will have to decide whether to isolate NHS spending from the cuts, as well as how to deal with the current pressure on services.


The government has introduced subsidies for energy bills through April, but it will not say now how much, if any, it will provide people with subsidies after that point. There is also the risk of winter blackouts if gas supplies remain scarce across Europe as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine. One of the prime minister’s first actions may be to announce a major energy-saving drive – a move that Liz Truss previously resisted.

Northern Ireland Protocol

The protocol issue remains unresolved, although Liz Truss has made progress toward new talks. Although there is a different tone, European skeptics northern Ireland Minister Steve Baker warned on Sunday that his faction would not hesitate to bring down the next government if it reneged on its promises to protect free trade within the UK.

Triple Lock Annuities

the government Committed to maintaining the triple lock – Raising pensions with the highest wage inflation rate or 2.5% – in the last elections. However, should cuts need to be made, a new prime minister could consider phasing out, but that would make many Tory MPs dependent on the votes of the elderly very unhappy.

defense spending

Defense spending was set to rise to 3% of GDP by 2030, but scrapping that pledge is one option under consideration as the government seeks to balance the books. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has made it clear that he is committed to this policy.


Liz Truss wanted broad planning reforms as part of a reform of supply-side measures to boost growth. Her government was looking at easing planning restrictions for large infrastructure and investment areas but also more broadly. This would be highly controversial among Tory MPs.


a The controversy over immigration It was raging in the hours leading up to Truss’ departure as prime minister. She wanted to ease restrictions to boost growth, but this was resisting at the Home Office. The pro-growth prime minister will likely want to ease restrictions to try and improve the economy.

foreign aid

Spending on foreign aid is set to return to 0.7% of national income, but a prime minister bent on cuts may delay that date. That would infuriate the one-nation wing of the party, many of whom backed Sunak at Johnson’s expense.

Investigation into Boris Johnson’s conduct

Johnson as prime minister will face a Severe headache On the impending Parliamentary investigation of the concessions committee into whether he misled the House of Commons. It’s also possible that Sunak will find a problem given the attention she will get, although less so than Johnson. Within weeks the investigation is set to run up to four hours a day for three to four days a week to hear evidence about the Partygate scandal – a scene likely to dominate headlines and reignite anger.

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