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Politics / Northern Isles MP labels government growth plan ‘reckless’

Alistair Carmichael. Photo: Shetland News

THE UK Government’s ‘mini-budget’ announced today (Friday) in a bid to encourage growth in the economy has been described as “reckless” by Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

He claimed the announcements from chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng showed how “out of touch” the Conservatives are.

But the UK Government says the plan will “release the huge potential in the British economy by tackling high energy costs and inflation and delivering higher productivity and wages”.

Among the headline moves is the basic rate of income tax reducing to 19 per cent from April and the 45 per cent rate of tax for people earning more than £150,000 a year being abolished.

This will be replaced with a single higher rate of income tax of 40 per cent which the government said will “simplify” the system and reward “enterprise and work”.

A cap on bankers’ bonuses has been lifted, while the threshold for people in England and Northern Ireland to start paying stamp duty in property is to rise.

Responding to the measures, Carmichael said the plan is expected to grow the national debt “significantly”.

The value of the pound also dropped significantly, some observers said ‘crashed’, after the measures were announced.

“The Conservatives have shown just how out of touch they are, putting handouts for bankers first and support for working people last,” Carmichael said.

“With the worst inflation in decades, rising interest rates, and an economy heading into a recession, the last shred of Conservative credibility on the economy has been torn away.

“The verdict is already in, and it is pretty ugly for Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng. Independent think tanks have confirmed that it is the hugely wealthy who will benefit from these measures, while working families are left to pay the price.”

The Liberal Democrat said a “fair deal” is needed for families and businesses, and “some stability after years of chaos with the Conservatives”.

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The UK Government, however, said the measures have a target of 2.5 per cent growth.

Kwarteng said: “Economic growth isn’t some academic term with no connection to the real world. It means more jobs, higher pay and more money to fund public services, like schools and the NHS.

“This will not happen overnight but the tax cuts and reforms I’ve announced today – the biggest package in generations – send a clear signal that growth is our priority.

“Cuts to stamp duty will get the housing market moving and support first-time buyers to put down roots.

“New Investment Zones will bring business investment and release land for new homes in communities across the country.

“And we’re accelerating new road, rail and energy projects by removing restrictions that have slowed down progress for too long.

“We want businesses to invest in the UK, we want the brightest and the best to work here and we want better living standards for everyone.”

More details on the plan can be found here.

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