Carmichael calls for government reassurance over energy instability

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called for greater government reassurances to customers over the ongoing energy crisis, and raised in Parliament. Mr Carmichael later highlighted the need for a reassessment of Ofgem’s role in order to be more prepared for future instability in the energy market, and pointed out the key role of the isles in energy production, including during the current crisis, as further evidence of the need for a specific isles tariff to tackle fuel poverty. Several energy firms have ceased trading in recent days due to the challenging conditions, although the regulator Ofgem has said that any customer of a company that closes will not lose coverage.

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Carmichael presses for publication of scientific evidence on vaccine passport plans

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Home Affairs and MP for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, has today called on the government to publish in full evidence in support of any vaccine passport scheme after it continued to refuse to rule the plan out. Governments in London and Edinburgh have been criticised by a range of business and civil rights groups for their Covid ID plans due to a lack of clarity on human rights issues, little evidence on the proposals’ efficacy in fighting the pandemic and the costs to struggling hospitality businesses.

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Carmichael hits back at government claim on “taking back control” of territorial waters

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called out the government after a minister claimed in Parliament that they were “taking back control” of UK territorial waters. The claim was made by Paymaster General, Michael Ellis MP during Cabinet Office questions, and was challenged by Mr Carmichael in light of the government’s failure to live up to promises made to fishermen before Brexit about control of UK waters and quota, and particularly access to the six-to-twelve-mile limit, which was ceded to the EU despite prior claims.

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Over 9000 isles pensioners hit by Conservative broken promise on triple lock

The Liberal Democrats have published figures showing that 9,293 state pensioners in Orkney and Shetland (representing 22.9% of the local population) are set to be impacted by the government breaking its manifesto promise and suspending the triple lock on pensions. The state pension triple lock is a rule that means the state pension must rise each year in line with the highest of three possible figures, inflation, average earnings or 2.5%.

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“Reboot needed”: Carmichael speaks on cruise industry impact in the isles

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today spoken out in a parliamentary debate on the impact of the cruise industry on the economy, highlighting both the benefits and challenges brought to the isles from the growth of cruise visits. Mr Carmichael raised the need for the disruption of the pandemic to spur a “reboot” in the relationship between cruise operators and local communities, with government and trade organisations playing a vital role in rebalancing interactions.

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Carmichael calls for greater government action to support maritime sector

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out in Parliament on the need for greater government action to ensure the pay and conditions of seafarers. Speaking during a debate on the UK Maritime Sector, Mr Carmichael welcomed progress that has been made in recent years, including changes to require minimum wage standards on vessels in UK waters, but warned that businesses would continue to flout the law if it were not fully enforced. He also highlighted the problems for Scottish shipbuilding and the replacement of ferry fleets.

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Carmichael welcomes party backing for tourism VAT rate cut

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed the news today that the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference has backed measures to maintain the 5% VAT rate for hospitality and tourism. Mr Carmichael has been a longstanding advocate for a permanent cut to VAT for these sectors to encourage growth and employment for the tourism industry which is a vital part of the isles economy.

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Carmichael joins launch of new Citizens’ Britain report

Orkney and Shetland MP and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Home Affairs, Alistair Carmichael, is today joining the launch of a collection of new liberal ideas backed by the Social Liberal Forum, inspired by Paddy Ashdown’s influential book “Citizens’ Britain”, credited with fuelling the revival of the Liberal Democrats in the 1990s. Mr Carmichael contributed the foreword to the report, and joins the editors at a launch event at the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference, which starts today.

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Carmichael meets NFUS leaders in Parliament

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has met with NFUS representatives including the NFUS President, Martin Kennedy, in Parliament this week to discuss a range of challenges and opportunities facing farmers and crofters in Scotland. Mr Carmichael talked with the farming union leaders about concerns relating to labour shortages, the need for greater stability for agriculture and the role farming and crofting has to play in tackling climate change. The meeting came as the Prime Minister refused calls in Parliament to take action on labour shortages in the farming industry following Brexit and the pandemic.

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Carmichael reacts to Conservative tax hike on workers

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has denounced today’s announcement from the government of a 1.25% hike on National Insurance to pay for new social care commitments. While recognising the need for social care reforms, Mr Carmichael voiced concerns that the tax rise is regressive, falling as much on low paid workers as the wealthy, and amounted to a transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

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