This is what Liz Truss needs to do next

To calm the beast that is the market, she will have to throw it a pound of flesh. Unfortunately for Kwasi Kwarteng, that means him, writes Salma Shah

Friday 14 October 2022 11:22 BST
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This collective sense of dread and panic is problematic for the PM
This collective sense of dread and panic is problematic for the PM (EPA/Tolga Akmen)

All this radical economic supply side reform is both mind-boggling and anxiety-inducing. Never mind the energy bill, the food bill and the mortgage rate; you’re now furtively watching the bond market, having to remember that seeing it go up is a bad thing. The armchair epidemiologists have been well and truly replaced with the armchair economists – and it’s stressing us all out.

This collective sense of dread and panic is a problem for the PM. Information overload is the enemy of politicians, especially when they have lost all control of the message. Policies and political communication work best when the output is simple and digestible by a mass audience. And it’s why, however much Liz Truss tries, her economic plan has lost all credibility. The more she explains it, the less credible it is. It’s time for a new plan.

Firstly, her pathway to redemption can only come from acknowledging her failure. She has to stop her planned tax cuts and say she will bring them in when the economy is stronger. Politically, her experiment will be over: what is Liz Truss without the tax cuts, after all? But her short-term survival depends on being dynamic – not digging in. The public need to feel their concerns are being heard, not that they aren’t appreciative enough of her energy price interventions.

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