Carmichael backs Queen’s Speech amendment to cut VAT and tackle fraud

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today backed a Liberal Democrat amendment to the Queen’s Speech programme of legislation which calls for the government to act on the cost-of-living crisis by cutting VAT, and to confront the growing problem of fraud crime. The amendment criticises a range of policy omissions from the Conservative legislative programme for the coming year, which also fails to include action to protect farmers in future trade deals, to cap the price of heating oil and to uphold environmental standards. The amendment is expected to be voted upon at approximately 7pm Wednesday evening.

Speaking before the vote, Mr Carmichael said:

“It is astonishing that a government facing such serious challenges on the cost of living has no meaningful solutions to help struggling families in this Queen’s Speech. A cut to VAT would put hundreds of pounds back in people’s pockets, while a cap on heating oil cost would be a direct benefit to thousands of families in rural communities across the country.

“Cutting VAT is a no brainer. This is a tax that directly hits lower income families harder on their day-to-day spending – by reducing those costs we reduce the strain on household balance sheets.

“Further action on fraud is also essential after it has soared in recent years. Given that ministers have tried to downplay the importance of fraud it is perhaps understandable why they are ignoring it in the Queen’s Speech but these are crimes which hit the most vulnerable in our communities the hardest.

“The government appears to be entirely rudderless in its approach to the growing crisis in the country. We all know that more must be done – every day that the government delays further action, families and businesses are paying the price.”

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