SPRING has arrived and the light nights and better weather are welcome, but the energy crisis still remains.

Many will have received intimation from their supplier about new tariffs and the cost of standing charges are eyewatering. They offer no respite to those seeking to economise, as they’re lumbered whether they use it or not.

The impact is harshest on the poorest and most vulnerable. They use least but proportionately pay most. Those on pre-payment meters (PPMs) are likewise hit hardest, with little respite offered by the UK Government.

Their fanfare budget announcement of the abolition of higher standing charges on PPMs was of course welcome. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick but, as a parliamentary question I asked showed, it only amounts to an average saving of £45 per annum for the PPM user – little respite and not what was trumpeted.

Equalising standing charges was correct but increasing them across the board makes it of limited benefit to the neediest and still hugely costly for all. Energy companies are still raking it in and we’re paying the price in a country with more renewable electricity than we can use and plenty more to export.

In Parliament last week, I hosted a meeting for Keep Prisons Single Sex. The absurdity continues, with over half of male prisoners in Scotland who identified as female only doing so after conviction. Similarly, though none had sexual offence convictions, many had them for serious crimes of violence.

Progress has been made in England and those simply self IDing have been moved out of women’s prisons. The Scottish Government, though, persist with it, even when the former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon got into a fankle over the convicted rapist Isla Bryson. His wife was clear that he was a liar and simply at it. The Scottish Government need to end this abuse of women’s rights.