This teacher-selected article with suggested questions is part of the Financial Times Free Schools Access Program. Details/registration here.

Specification:

  • AQA Component 3.1.1.3: Prime Minister and Cabinet

  • Component 2 of Edexcel (UK Government): 3.3.2: The powers of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to dictate events and determine policy.

Click to read the article below then answer the questions:

Truss finally admits defeat on wealth tax benefit

Background: what you need to know

This article looks at the reversal made by Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, who abandoned their plan to abolish the 45% tax rate paid by the highest earners in the face of pressure from the public opinion and many conservatives. deputies.

For students of the role of Prime Minister, there are two main points of interest. First, high-level economic policy decisions are often made by the Prime Minister and Chancellor alone, without reference to the rest of the Cabinet. Second, the U-turn weakened the authority of both.

It has been suggested that Truss could sack Kwarteng, but they were co-authors of the policy, and scapegoating the Chancellor would also reflect on her. Both were damaged by the episode and there are now doubts over their ability to push through other controversial policies if they encounter opposition within the Conservative Party.

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Assess the view that the prime minister’s power is primarily determined by his handling of events and his ability to determine government policy.

    In your answer, you should draw on relevant knowledge and understanding from the study of Component 1: British Politics and Fundamental Political Ideas. You must consider this point of view and the alternative to this point of view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    POINT: Truss’ example is a good starting point, but make sure you can illustrate your answer by referring to past PMs who have failed or succeeded in controlling events and pushing through a political agenda. Examples include John Major and Black Wednesday, Tony Blair and the Iraq War, Theresa May or Boris Johnson with their respective Brexit plans.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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