Carmichael backs FSB concerns about Budget

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has backed concerns raised by the Federation of Small Businesses and other commercial groups about the lack of tools to bounce back from the pandemic in the Budget announced this week.

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Critical period for fishing now put at risk by government – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out today against the risk to fishermen from the government’s dispute with France over access for a small number of boats in the English Channel. In response to French boats being denied access to UK waters, the French government has threatened actions including a prohibition of British fishing vessels landing at French ports, reinforcement of customs and sanitary controls, systematic security checks of British boats, and reinforcement of controls on lorries to and from the UK, which would have a serious impact on exporters passing through France.

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Carmichael comments following DVSA debate: “finding excuses and casting aspersions”

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted further to comments from the government during today’s debate on the operations of the DVSA in Shetland. During the debate the responding minister, Trudy Harrison MP, suggested that while the DVSA was working hard to ensure services were kept in the isles, the problems with test sites were primarily due to high costs from local businesses and intransigence from Shetland Islands Council, something which Mr Carmichael noted was inaccurate given the Council’s efforts to work with the DVSA and others since 2016.

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Carmichael leads parliamentary debate on DVSA

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today led a debate in Parliament on the operations of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in Shetland, highlighting major problems in the agency’s approach and attitude to local people.

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Government showing contempt over past promises on cutting energy VAT – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has voiced disappointment after it emerged today that the government will not cut VAT on energy bills. Energy bills are currently taxed at the lower rate of 5% VAT but an elimination of the tax had been lauded by the Prime Minister previously as a promised benefit of leaving the EU. Wholesale energy prices have risen significantly in recent months as winter approaches amid fears of a “Winter of Discontent” with wages failing to keep up with the cost of living.

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Small businesses hit with £2.4bn tax bombshell after Conservative broken promise

Small and medium-sized businesses, from tech startups to hairdressers and cafes, will pay an extra £2.4bn a year due to the rise in national insurance, research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has found. A breakdown of the figures suggests that small and medium-sized businesses in Orkney and Shetland will pay an additional £1.3m and £1.4m, respectively.

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Half of National Living Wage rise wiped out by tax and National Insurance hike

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has responded to reports that the government plans to announce a rise in the National Living Wage from £8.91 per hour to £9.50, to come into effect from 1 April next year.

Research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that a full-time worker paid the National Living Wage will see nearly half (44%) of the proposed increase wiped out before it even reaches their bank account due to tax and the increase in National Insurance.

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Carmichael responds to PM remarks that recycling “doesn’t work”

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called on the government to reconsider his Plastic Pollution Bill and amendments to the Environment Bill to tackle plastic pollution, after the Prime Minister admitted that reducing plastic pollution is far more important than recycling. Boris Johnson said that recycling plastic “doesn’t work” as he argued that we need to reduce the amount of the material that is used, during a press conference with children in Downing Street on Monday. He told them that “recycling isn’t the answer. Recycling... it doesn’t begin to address the problem” and that “the only answer” was “to cut down on our use of plastic.”

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Carmichael joins cross-party letter on food waste

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has joined MPs from across Parliament to back FareShare’s “Food on Plates” campaign in a letter to the Prime Minister. The campaign calls for funding to support farmers and food producers passing on unsold produce to charities, to reduce the two million tonnes of food wasted every year in the UK, and notes that funding of just £5m per year would be enough to double the amount of unused food making it to charities.

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Carmichael raises concerns about uneven New Zealand trade agreement

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today voiced concerns as the outline of a UK-New Zealand trade deal was announced. The deal is expected to follow in the form of the upcoming agreement with Australia, giving significantly greater access for New Zealand agriculture with almost no predicted GDP growth for the UK according to the government’s own estimates. The National Farmers’ Union has already warned that the deal risks “huge downsides” for farmers.

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