Government challenged on cuts to farm support during food inflation crisis

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today challenged the government over its planned cuts to farm support payments during a crisis in rising food prices. Speaking in Parliament today, Mr Carmichael pressed the government over the reduction in support which will see payments to farmers drop by as much as 50% in parts of the UK in the next few years, and reminded the Secretary of State George Eustice that support for food producers is support for lower food prices for families.

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Lower incomes disproportionately hit as inflation rises to highest level in 40 years

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has responded to news today that inflation soared to 9% in April, warning that the disproportionate impact on lower income families meant the government must “get off its hands”. This morning the ONS announced that CPI inflation rose to 9% in the year to April, a level not seen since 1982, and significantly higher than the 7% rate in March. Analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that inflation is now hitting less wealthy households hardest.

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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.

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Travellers warned to check and renew passports early

Islanders have been warned this week to ensure that their passport is up to date before booking any international travel this summer. Isles MP Alistair Carmichael made the call following growing concerns about delays at the Passport Office which have left many people waiting over ten weeks to receive their passports.

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Ofgem must put consumer needs first – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today raised concerns about Ofgem’s proposed changes to the management of the energy price cap, following significant criticism of the plans by consumer advocate Martin Lewis. Mr Carmichael warned that the regulator must remember that its role should be to “put customers first, not the major energy suppliers”.

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New certainty for future of THAW fuel poverty funding

Northern Isles representatives Alistair Carmichael MP and Liam McArthur MSP have welcomed confirmation this week that a long-delayed agreement has been reached which will allow certainty for the future funding of fuel poverty charity THAW Orkney.

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“Red line” commitment secured on hormone-treated beef

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has secured a commitment from the International Trade Secretary this week that maintaining UK food standards and the ban on hormone-treated beef would be a “red line” in UK-Canada trade negotiations. The Secretary of State, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP made the commitment in response to a letter from Mr Carmichael highlighting claims from Canadian negotiators that overturning the ban would be their goal during trade talks.

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“Now is the time to act”: Carmichael backs call for bolder action on energy bills

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today backed calls by the head of Scottish Power for more decisive action on fuel poverty ahead of the next energy price cap rise in October. Mr Carmichael warned that “now is the time to act, not when the snow and storms come”, but said that energy company bosses needed to play their role in softening the blow just as much as the government.

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Consensus on need to reduce Russian fishing access in Parliament

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today in Parliament raised the issue of Russian vessels being given Faroese licences to operate in shared UK-Faroese fishing grounds. Mr Carmichael asked what recent discussions the fisheries minister had with Faroese counterparts on access for Russian fishing vessels to shared UK-Faroese fishing grounds, with a broad consensus that Faroese colleagues should consider swifter action to bar Russian boats.

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Carmichael supports NFUS meeting with Scotland Office Ministers

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, today facilitated a meeting between Scotland Office Ministers and an NFUS delegation to discuss vital issues for Scottish farmers including the workings of the Groceries Code Adjudicator. Scotland Office Ministers Iain Stewart MP and Lord Offord welcomed the delegation, and there was a broad agreement that more could be done to rebalance the economic relationship between food producers and supermarket groups.

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