Wednesday 28 February 2024
 7.5°C   S Fresh Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

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”.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


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.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.