All the candidates, including Mr Sunak, are now promising supply-side reforms – a staple of Ms Truss’ speech in 2019 and now. So, how does it differ from its rivals on its economic offer?
“It’s not a new position for me on tax cuts. I opposed the rise of National Insurance in Cabinet – I thought it was a mistake at the time. I also opposed to the increase in corporation tax.
“And my view is that in these very tough economic times, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes, because we need to attract new investment to our country, we need to encourage people to work.”
She adds, “Now is not the time to raise taxes.” Ms Truss highlighted her differences with Mr Sunak, who intends to go ahead with the corporate tax hike.
Ms Truss also tries to distance herself from Ms Mordaunt, Mr Tugendhat and Ms Badenoch – without mentioning any by name – adding: “Where I differ is on delivery and experience. I have a reputation for getting things done in government.
“I’m someone who’s ready to be bold, I’m ready to get things done, I’m ready to challenge Whitehall orthodoxy. And that’s what we have to do. Because orthodoxy doesn’t work.
“And in order to deliver on what we promised, in order to provide a better life for our constituents across the country, we have to do things differently.” Another tax Ms Truss reveals she intends to aim for is corporate rates, saying: ‘In my view they are a hindrance to growth.’
Ms Truss feels there has been a lack of ambition on housing. She wants to replace centralized targets with tax and regulatory incentives for companies to build new homes, which she sees as much more likely to encourage companies to act.
“I want to abolish Whitehall-inspired Stalinist housing targets; I think that’s the wrong way to generate economic growth,” she says. “The best way to generate economic growth is from the grassroots by creating these investment incentives through the tax system, by simplifying the regulations.”
Ms Truss wants to amend Mr Johnson’s Race Up Bill to legislate for new low-tax ‘investment and build zones’. Centralized targets are a “union approach,” she says. “It’s not conservative.”
She adds: “What I want to achieve is the biggest change in our economic policy for 30 years. This is the magnitude of the challenge we face.
In addition to cutting taxes, she wants to cut red tape “to move our economy forward.”
Overhaul of European Solvency II rules
This includes the overhaul of EU Solvency II rules that tie insurers’ hands, and the “freeing up[ing] more of our pension funds to be able to invest in high-tech startups”.
“We have to do things differently in terms of regulations – we have to get our economy moving.
“There is a tendency in Whitehall to be cautious, not to take risks and to be slow. But we cannot afford to wait any longer. It is imperative that we continue to provide these post-Brexit opportunities. »
Ms Truss also appears concerned about the Bank of England’s response to inflation. She says she would “review” the agreed mandate with the government “to make sure it is tough enough against inflation”. And in a severe departure from the Treasury’s approach to date, it would establish a “clear direction” for monetary policy.
“I fear that some of the inflation has been caused by increases in the money supply. For me, managing inflation is a matter of monetary policy. And in addition to having a very clear plan on the how we reform the supply side, how we control public sector spending over time, I would also have a very clear direction on monetary policy.
Another concern among many right-wing Tory MPs is fracking – and she says she is in favor of the current ban being lifted.
“I support the Net Zero goal, but we need to achieve Net Zero in a way that does not harm businesses or consumers…I am very much in favor of using gas as a transition fuel.
“As far as fracking, I think it depends on the region and whether there is local support for it. But I certainly think we need to do everything possible to reduce the cost of energy for consumers.
So, does she think there are good reasons to lift the ban and let local residents decide if fracking takes place in their area?