Business Live: 14 March 2014

Live text

Reporting:

  • Joe Miller 
  • Ian Pollock 

Last updated 14 March 2014

STANDARD 06:00

Ian Pollock, Business reporter, BBC News

Good morning. A couple of things on our diary today. Half year results from the big pub chain Wetherspoons, and then later the latest official figures on the output of the UK's construction industry. Let's hope it's a bit busier than just that.

STANDARD 06:00

Joe Miller, Business Reporter

Get in touch with us this morning on any of the business stories on bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter @BBCBusiness.

STANDARD 06:05 GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

We'll be covering the fallout over the Public Accounts Committee's call for "urgent" reform of government outsourcing. MPs have criticised the management of contracts with private companies that supply public services, saying greater transparency is needed. Serco and G4S were mentioned as particularly bad examples.

STANDARD 06:07 ENERGY TARIFFS

Gas

Energy tariffs have been simpler since January, courtesy of an initiative from the regulator, with just two rates now on offer from each supplier. But the consumers association Which? says this is still confusing. The survey sample for this claim is a bit small though, just 500 respondents.

STANDARD 06:15 40% TAX RATE

The usual pre-Budget lobbying is ramping up. The former Conservative chancellor Lord Lamont has called on George Osborne to raise the threshold for paying the 40% higher rate. His predecessor Lord Lawson says far too many people are now paying it.

STANDARD 06:19 ENERGY TARIFFS

Radio 5 live

"It's actually dead easy to compare prices", says Alun Rees, a manager at Energy UK, which represents the energy companies. He tells Wake Up to Money the Which? research didn't look at how most people do it - online. A quarter of a million people switch suppliers every month, he claims.

STANDARD 06:29 ZUCKERBERG CALLS OBAMA

Mark Zuckerberg

"The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat. They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst." That's an excerpt from a post by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, on the social media site. He said he had called president Obama to express frustration over US digital surveillance.

STANDARD 06:38 SUITABLE SUITCASES

Radio 4

What do people look for in a suitcase? Tim Parker, chief executive of Samsonite told the Today programme "when somebody buys a suitcase they want it to last and they want it to be light and they want to know if there's a problem they can bring it back".

STANDARD 06:48 'BILL SHOCK'

Woman with phone

Some mobile phone users are still being hit by "bill shock" when they come back from holiday or their phone is stolen, says Citizens Advice. It had 28,000 complaints about this sort of thing last year, and said some people's bills were still "shockingly high" after making calls abroad or using their phones to browse the internet.

STANDARD 06:55 'FORMULA-NOMICS'

Radio 5 live
F1

The first race of the Formula One season kicks off on Sunday in Australia. There are new rules, new engines and a new points system. Wake Up to Money has been looking at the "Formula-nomics" of F1. Dr Paolo Averasa, from Cass Business School, says the event is at risk because of the high costs of F1. He reckons $300m is spent per year by most teams.