THE French government has limited gas price increases to 12.6% and promised further help after the cap ends this month – when UK households face a 54% rise in energy bills.

It means we can expect to pay an extra £693 on energy since the regulator, Ofgem, has lifted the average cap on default tariffs to £1,971.

The French have also restricted increases in power costs to 4%, with largely state-owned supplier EDF offering discount prices. Spain has followed suit by capping charges.

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But Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK’s Business Secretary, pointed to the impact of the move – which has cost the French EDF around £7.1billion – on its share price as investors took fright last month.

He ruled out cutting VAT on gas and electric bills when asked by Sky News’s Trevor Phillips: “What have the French got that we don’t have?”

And Mr Kwarteng added: “The French have managed to scare a lot of people who are trying to invest in France. We’ve got the highest inward investment of any country in Europe. That’s relevant to this whole equation.”

Contrast that with what Spanish labour minister Yolanda Diaz tweeted during a Spanish TV interview: “The common good comes above the profit-and-loss accounts of big business.”

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So the question must be asked: “Is No 10 doing enough?”

Kwarteng has dismissed claims No 10 is doing too little to tackle energy costs compared with France and Spain, where increases have been drastically curbed by state intervention.

A wee bit more of levelling up would not go amiss for the many families up and down the UK who live in dread of the month end energy bill. As they say in France, “Plus ca change” ... big business and institutional investors before people, the final consumers who provide the wealth.

Peter Macari

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Winifred McCartney’s comments (Letters, Apr 12) regarding the clear political bias of the BBC in Scotland. This is not a news organisation, it is a core part of the British establishment and uses its role to defend that establishment at all costs.

The BBC does not learn from its mistakes, it simply pretends they have done nothing wrong and tries the same routine time after time of trying to persuade all viewers and listeners that Scotland is rubbish. It is bizarre that anyone in Scotland willingly pays the licence fee to this organisation. They are lying to each and every one of us and will continue to do so.

READ MORE: BBC Scotland editor breaks silence over broadcaster's Brexit reporting

The latest example of not mentioning Brexit and coming up with bizarre reasons to cover the failures associated with Brexit simply highlights that the BBC has long moved from reporting the news to manipulating the information we receive. It’s time more people started asking the question “Is that the truth, or did you hear it on the BBC?”

Cllr Kenny MacLaren

I READ Tuesday’s National front page headline (Has BBC banned Brexit?) and my initial thought was that this has been going on for a long time – it’s not a new story! I’ve listened to random critical comments regarding Brexit from guests/callers on various BBC programmes and the behaviour of the interviewers is consistent in the fact they do indeed ignore negative comments condemning Brexit and the “lie”/con that was foisted on the public at large.

I believe these interviewers are following formal instructions from their bosses. Hence I would like to ask the BBC, instructions from whom? And are their jobs “on the line” if they do not conform to said instructions?

Bernie Japs

REGARDING the Great Bernera buyout attempts described in Lesley Riddoch’s article (The islanders land reform left behind, Apr 14), I see a similarity with the islanders’ problems and the much-delayed independence referendum and the time lapse and apparent inertia by government in both cases.

Andy Wightman and others have tried to get land reform to no avail. It seems not to be of any importance to the heidyins in Edinburgh.

The reluctance to make progress on this issue, as with the referendum, appears to stem from an unwillingness by the current administration to question and challenge existing vested interest.

The whole point about independence is the challenge to vested interest and to overcome it. If the current leadership of the SNP fails to rise to the task, what’s the point of them being in office?

Do they see their job as one of placating the masses, or of bringing about reform? From both action and inaction it appears to be the former. If they’re not prepared to make further reform they should let someone else take up the challenge to make progress.

Being in office in itself is insufficient to be called progress, and that’s what’s required on both independence and land reform.

Drew Reid