Carmichael condemns government plan to end Universal Credit uplift

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has condemned government plans, announced today, to phase out the £20 uplift to Universal Credit in the autumn. Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told MPs the boost – introduced in April last year to help deal with the economic effects of Covid – would face an “adjustment”. Six former work and pensions secretaries have urged ministers not to end the uplift. 

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Carmichael voices concerns about Climate Assembly plans to cut Scottish meat farming

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has responded to calls from the Scottish Climate Assembly for Scotland to move to an agricultural support scheme which will ‘enable a move away from meat and dairy farming’ to be implemented within the next five years. The Assembly states that by supporting the transition to sustainable practices in agriculture it would ‘enable a move away from meat and dairy farming, in ways that give farmers time to adapt and diversify their businesses’.

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Isles representatives speak out over Green plans to curtail salmon farming

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart, have spoken out today after it emerged that the co-leader of the Scottish Greens was advocating for the curtailment of salmon farming in Scotland despite never having been to a farm and not knowing where salmon farms were located. Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Lorna Slater MSP said “I don’t actually know where the fish farms are” but that she continued to support the party’s manifesto commitments to phase out open-pen farms.

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Government missing chance to support struggling industries with furlough wind-down – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted to the beginning of the “winding down” process for the furlough scheme. The scheme has protected many workers’ wages through the pandemic, but over the next three months, firms will have to shoulder more of the costs of the scheme as the government starts to wind down its support. Staff will continue to receive 80% of their wages, but employers will pay part of that for the first time. Mr Carmichael has argued for targeted support for industries like tourism and hospitality, which may be unable to reopen to full capacity for months to come.

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Shared Rural Network progress recognised as consultation opens

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed the opening of a consultation on the Shared Rural Network, as the project to expand mobile coverage across rural areas of the UK develops. Forecasts released this week by the Shared Rural Network project suggest that by 2025, 74% of Scotland will have coverage from all four networks, up from the 44% in 2020. The percentage of Scotland's landmass expected to have coverage from at least one carrier was also expected to rise from 81 per cent to 91 per cent.  

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Carmichael speaks out on Scottish man detained arbitrarily in India

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out in Parliament over the case of Jagtar Singh Johal, a Scottish man who has been held in an Indian jail without conviction for three years. Mr Johal, who was travelling to India to get married in 2015 when he was arrested, is being held under India's anti-terror laws, accused of conspiring to murder a number of right-wing Hindu leaders.

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Carmichael praises “most-northerly” Pride events in Pride Month debate

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out in a parliamentary debate on Pride Month, recognising in Parliament the progress made on equality and the Pride events being held in the Northern Isles. 

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“Frankly unpatriotic”: Carmichael voices concern about government plans with human rights law

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has voiced concern in Parliament about the government’s plans with the Human Rights Act as it conducts a review of the law this summer. Mr Carmichael noted the UK’s historic role in developing human rights conventions following the Second World War; some Conservative MPs and ministers have expressed a desire to scrap the Human Rights Act or the European Convention on Human Rights, which was largely written by UK leaders.

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Sausage war ceasefire good but long term solution needed – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP and Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Northern Ireland, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news today that the UK and EU have agreed extend the grace period allowing the trade of chilled meat from Great Britain to Northern Ireland by three months. Mr Carmichael said that the agreement was positive but that a longer-term solution was needed, ideally one that would ease red tape and trade barriers for businesses for the whole UK which are struggling to deal with post-Brexit restrictions. The Withdrawal Agreement, agreed as part of Brexit talks, was designed to avoid a contentious hard border on the island of Ireland, but created a trade border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

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Carmichael calls for greater transparency on government Covid contracts

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for greater transparency from the government in its handling of emergency Covid contracts. Mr Carmichael asked ministers if the government would publish full details on the process used to assign billions of pounds of public money to suppliers during the pandemic and the role of ministers in steering public procurement towards specific contractors.

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