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Rishi Sunak’s Policy Agenda – A Critique

  • By Somesh Tiwari
  • December 1, 2022
  • 41 Views

Article Published at Lex Witness.

INTRODUCTION

United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister, Mr. Rishi Sunak, took over office during one of the most serious economic crises in modern British history as he attempts to steer the country through an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, political and social disjuncture, and talks of looming recession.

As a response for the current situation, Rishi Sunak, while campaigning, had given the ‘Ten-point plan for Britain’ to the people in which he talks about how his plan will come into play in addressing various problems which UK is facing as of now.

This article will attempt to dissect Rishi Sunak’s Ten-point plan, as this is an opportune moment to analyze the anticipated change in policy and leadership which has come after much brouhaha in the political arena.

BACKGROUND

Rishi Sunak has not only given a Ten-Point plan for Britain, but has also proposed plans of solutions for specific issues, such as the Ten-Point plan for dairy farmers and Ten-Point plan for securing Britain’s borders. However, for the purpose of the present analysis, we will look at the Ten-Point plan proposed by the Prime Minister as the umbrella policy covering almost all the major issues.

The Ten-Point plan for Britain –

  • Rebuilding the economy – A long-term plan to beat inflation, encouraging investment to boost growth, and cutting the basic rate of income tax by 20%.
  • Scrapping VAT on energy bills – Temporarily scrapping VAT on energy bills to support every family through the winter.
  • Cutting NHS backlogs – Getting to grips with the waiting list and introducing fines for missed appointments to stop the NHS being misused.
  • Delivering on Brexit – Scrapping all EU laws that hold the economy back before the next election.
  • Tackling illegal immigration – Tightening rules on asylum, capping the number of refugees and making the Rwanda Partnership work.
  • Clamping down on crime – Introducing automatic custodial sentences for career criminals and an emergency taskforce to track down grooming gangs.
  • Transforming education – Teaching Math and English to 18, boosting technical education like apprenticeships and cracking down on poor quality degrees.
  • Strengthening the Union – Fixing the Northern Ireland Protocol, levelling up investment in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and standing up to Nicola Sturgeon.
  • Protecting our Green Belt – Building homes on brownfield sites, faster development of homes with planning permission, and blocking any inappropriate development on our Green Belt.
  • Winning the next General Election – Fully funding Campaign Managers in every 80:20 target seat and giving greater power to members.

CRITIQUE

Sunak’s campaign launch statement said he wanted to “Fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country”. People have high hopes from the country’s youngest Prime minister which takes us to the discussion about his plans which are making headlines in the whole of Britain.

The main problem with the Ten-Point plan is that it is scarce in details with “No meat and no bones” as stated by several policy makers in Britain which poses a major question on the ability of these solutions to become a reality.

Although various issues have been covered from tackling crime and cutting backlog in NHS appointments, to transforming education and delivering on Brexit, there is a noticeable lack of tangible schemes as to how these goals will be met.

On the issue of delivering on Brexit, the plan simply states “Scrapping all EU laws that hold the economy back before the next election.” It has offered no suggestions as to how the Prime Minister would approach negotiations with Brussels about the Northern Ireland Protocol, a set of regulations that have been the subject of a protracted legal battle for years. This lack of clarity and oversimplification of these major issue like Brexit is showing the unpreparedness of the solutions.

On the issue of the NHS, a lot has been said by Mr. Sunak as to how he will tackle this problem by finding efficiencies and savings but he hasn’t presented any clear solutions to reduce long hospital waiting lists or tackle the pay and conditions of health care workers who are threatening to go on strike. Prima facie, it seems that there exists a clear gap between the promises that he has made and the plans that he is presenting to revive Britain.

The biggest flaw in Rishi’s plan is that it did not list any solution for the Climate change even though on his summer campaign he explicitly said he was committed to the government goal of reaching the net zero carbon emissions across the country’s economy by 2050. Climate change which is an important issue should be on the list.

Although the Ten-point plans for reviving Britain are covering almost all the aspect of the problems that Britain is currently facing right now but the lack of details on them is making it seem like a fairytale that is being sold the nation’s population.

CONCLUSION

The crossroads on which Britain is standing right now is an important one, the responsibility is on the shoulders of new Prime minister to lead the country out of the profound crisis. The analysis of Prime Minister Rishi’s plan for the country is imperative at this point of time as it will give a new perspective to the people who will be affected in future by the policies of the new leadership of this country. Moreover, the plan as we discussed above, does lack clarity and now it has to be seen whether it will accomplish the purpose it meant to serve once it rolls out in real time.

https://www.vchambers.in/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/LW-ESG-Special-Issue-Oct-Nov-22-VChambers.pdf

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