Readers' letters: Windfall tax needed on energy giants

Oil giant BP has reported its highest profit for eight years, amounting to £9.5bn for 2021. This comes days after Shell reported profits of over £14 billion for last year, both companies cashing in on rocketing oil and gas markets.

Gas prices have increased fivefold from prior to the pandemic and oil prices have almost doubled as economies open up.

This is leading to big increases in gas and electricity bills for households, which will face a record energy bill increase of 54 per cent from April after the regulator lifted the cap on default tariffs to £1971.

The choice for many, pushed into fuel poverty, will now be between heating and eating.

Facing crippling increases in the cost of living, it is interesting to note what other countries are doing to tackle this energy crisis.

France, for example, is capping bill increases at 4 per cent; Norway is paying half of its citizens’ energy bills with profits from its lucrative oil fund and Germany is looking to cap increases at 5 per cent.

The pockets of the oil companies are deep, having profited from higher wholesale prices, and a one-off windfall tax here in the UK on fossil fuel giants helping hard-pressed households cope with record energy bills is urgently required.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

Female statue figures are not set in stone

Susan Dalgety mentions in her column (News, 7 February) that “there are only two female statues” in Edinburgh.

I believe there are far more than credit is given for:

Queen Victoria x3 – Leith Walk, Royal Scottish Academy and on building at 31 Castle Terrace.

Helen Crummy – outside Craigmillar Library.

St Margaret x2 – above west door St Giles, also Scottish National Portraits building.

Margaret Tudor – west door St Giles.

Mary Queen of Scots x2 - on Scottish National Portrait Gallery building and Scott Monument.

(Margaret) Winifred Rushworth - in George Square Gardens. Edinburgh University.

Lola Irondale- at Palace Yard fountain Holyrood.

Woman and Child outside Festival Square Lothian Road.

A number of female statues also exist of mythical origin these are - Caledonia, Kleio daughter of Zeus, Historia, Woman at base of statue of Prince Albert, Hygeia, 2 winged angels on wall at castle, 2 females on door arch 101-103 George Street, 4 at the Ross Fountain, Prudence on Prudential Building, 3 of the 6 on roof of former British Linen Bank Building, Golden statue of Greek Goddess of Victory, Angels (all females!) in various cemeteries. Possibly the “Maiden” in the Edinburgh Coat of Arms.

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

Tie dental students to work in Scotland

Scottish Labour has warned of a "growing crisis" in dental care in Scotland as NHS dentists turn to lucrative private patients.

NHS dentists are now scarcer than hens' teeth. A dentist needs to complete a bachelor of dental surgery degree which takes five years.

In Scotland all students get their university fees paid, costing taxpayers up to £9250 per year.

Why did the Scottish Government not tell all university students that to qualify for free education they would have to legally agree that they would work in Scotland for a period of five years?

No need for private health, private dentistry, no brain drain and no need for Scottish taxpayers to fill the universities’ £100 million a year funding gap.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

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