Rishi Sunak is Britain’s next prime minister — the third in the past three months. After he lost to fellow Conservative member Liz Truss around seven weeks ago, he told the public that her “fairy tale” plans, as he called them on the first television debate, will ultimately fail. With his own predictions playing out, the multi-millionaire former hedge-fund boss will slide in just as the UK hits a recession and battles with a significant surge to the cost of energy and food prices.
The cost of living crisis will see the country in economic turmoil and is set to leave millions of people struggling. Sunak is one of the wealthiest MPs in Westminster with a net worth of around £730 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List, compared to that of Queen Elizabeth II before her death at £370 million. Sunak was appointed the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer by Boris Johnson in early 2020. Since then, the criticism he faced has been intensified by his wealth, as photos of him wearing designer clothes and buying expendable items like his £180 coffee mug have branded him out of touch with the current situation facing the public. With this, the next PM is set to be the richest we have ever had in Number 10, while we are set to face an extreme demise in the function of the economy.
In preparation for the next Prime Minister, Hunger speaks to energy experts to comprehend what this means for the future of the economy. Chief Market Analyst Giles Coghlan of HYCM says: “As Sunak’s premiership unfolds, there are likely to be more difficult times ahead for the UK economy as it grapples its way out of a worsening downturn and even the prospect of a general election – upheaval which could derail the markets further.” Coghlan continues: “That said, there is one aspect of help for the GBP that is often overlooked. On the other side of the Atlantic, a slowdown in Federal Reserve policy would likely help lift the GBP as much, if even not more, than UK fiscal policy.”
Furthermore, Andrew Megson, CEO of My Pension Expert explains how “an incredible amount of chaos has ensued in the six weeks since Rishi Sunak’s failed first attempt to become Prime Minister.” Now, Megson explains, Sunak has the chance to prove himself – in the biggest way possible – “by extinguishing the fires set alight during Truss’ 45-day reign of market crashes and embarrassing U-turns”.
“Market stability will be a priority. Sunak’s first leadership campaign was led on a promise of fiscally conservative policies, which has already pleased the markets and given the pound a boost. However, it’s crucial that the new PM focuses on immediate reassurances for Britons struggling to stay afloat amid a soaring cost-of-living crisis. Confirming his stance on key policies such as the triple lock, or benefits cuts, would be a step in the right direction.”
Personal finance and energy expert Mohsin Rashid, Co-founder of ZIPZERO, states that this is also a step in the right direction as “Sunak enters as the first person of colour to become Prime Minister of the UK.” Yet with this historic moment, Rashid says “unfortunately, he also enters six weeks too late.”
“His timely debut foreshadows that the “collapse of the British economy means that that future could be even graver. Within this rigid framework, Sunak must find room to support families,” Rashid adds. “The impact of rising energy prices is affecting every corner of the country. We have seen reports of the most vulnerable no longer being able to afford to take the bus to work or enjoy the luxury of a kettle. Modern Britain is becoming numb to such bleak tales. Sunak must reinstate compassion at the heart of government and develop a support package with long-term aspirations.”
Certainly, as we see Sunak step forward as Prime Minister, it is how he will deal with the policies in the midst of an economic crisis across Britain that will truly detail his legacy as the next PM.