Carmichael calls for new approach to economic development in Highlands and Islands

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to be replaced with a renewed Highlands and Islands Development Board with greater government and business clout and community accountability. Writing in the Press and Journal, Mr Carmichael highlighted the need for a renewed development structure fit for the challenges of the 21st century and able to deliver on digital infrastructure, green technology and emerging industries in order to avert a second wave of depopulation.

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Government must stop “short-changing” local press – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today written to the Culture Secretary to voice concern about reports that local press organisations are being “short-changed” by the government in their support for public health advertising campaigns. Multiple local press outlets have contacted Mr Carmichael in recent weeks to voice concern that the government has cut their advertising rates after public health campaigns have run, making the adverts a loss-making exercise for local press. The letter follows a cross-party campaign led by Mr Carmichael calling on the government to allocate more advertising spend to local press to support them during the pandemic.

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Carmichael presses government to publish assessment of UK help in Bahraini death sentences

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for foreign affairs, Alistair Carmichael MP, has pressed the government today to publish its assessment of the UK’s assistance to Bahrain in the prosecution of two men now sentenced to death in the Gulf state. The two men’s prosecutions have been criticised due to allegations of the use of torture in their interrogations.

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Carmichael calls for fresh start in economic development

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for a revitalisation of the Highlands and Islands economy following the impact of Covid-19. Mr Carmichael highlighted the weaknesses of the current Highlands and Islands Enterprise as requiring new vision and purpose, with the force of government and the vision of business.

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Carmichael calls for long-term VAT cut for visitor economy

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has backed the announcement today of a 15% cut on VAT for tourism and hospitality, but called for 12-month package of support to ensure that the visitor economy can recover with confidence from the impact of coronavirus. Mr Carmichael has campaigned for years for a reduced rate on tourism VAT as a way to support local jobs and growth, which are now hard-hit by the restrictions caused by Covid-19.

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Carmichael: Farm Business Income figures demonstrate risks of undercutting farmers

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted to the Scottish Government’s publication of Farm Business Income (FBI) for the 2018 harvest season, which showed that only 28% of Scottish farms would have made a profit without Common Agricultural Policy subsidy. Mr Carmichael said that the figures were a reminder of the importance of financial support for local farmers and crofters.

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Carmichael joins Excluded UK cross-party group for workers and businesses left out of Covid-19 support

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, today joined over 180 MPs in the inaugural meeting of the Excluded UK All-Party Parliamentary Group. The group has been formed by fellow Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone, with members from 9 political parties, to advocate for the many workers and businesses left out of government economic support to date and find economic solutions.

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Carmichael welcomes introduction of Magnitsky sanctions regime

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson and MP for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, has today welcomed the creation of a system of Magnitsky-style sanctions by the UK government, to target individuals rather than states in response to human rights abuses and other illegal activities. Mr Carmichael noted that the first iteration of the scheme does not target any representatives of the Chinese government who may be involved in human rights abuses and called for urgent attention to this area.

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Carmichael highlights Plastic Free July, joins Climate Coalition letter to the Prime Minister

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has joined the Climate Coalition’s cross-party declaration to the Prime Minister on the importance of a green recovery from Covid-19 and for the UK to lead the way on green issues ahead the 2021 climate summit. Mr Carmichael met with climate campaigners from Orkney and Shetland this week, led by Shetlander Sorley Johnston, to discuss the case for a green recovery and how this could impact the isles. Mr Carmichael also highlighted the start of Plastic Free July, a global movement to encourage people to stop using single-use plastics for a month.

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Clarity needed to avoid double standards on international travel – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called for clarity on the government’s rumoured “air bridges” with other countries to avoid the need for quarantine after travel. The government has suggested to journalists in recent days that it would be releasing a list of countries which would be exempt from quarantine rules but has yet to do so officially. This morning media reports suggested that the Prime Minister’s father has travelled to a holiday home in Greece in defiance of UK and Greek travel rules.

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