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This is Business Live
from BBC News with Susannah
Streeter and David Eades.
It's budget day here in the UK,
but what measures will
the Chancellor of the Exchequer
present to bolster
Britain's low productivity?
Live from London, that's our
top story on Wednesday
Growth in the UK is flagging
behind Germany and France.
We'll look at what solutions
are likely to be announced later
and ask if they go far enough.
Also in the programme -
Personal data on 57 million Uber
customers and drivers were breached
in a hack attack that Uber concealed
for more than a year.
And all the latest from the
financial markets following another
record close on Globe Street, the
global rally has extended to Europe.
The gig economy goes Down Under -
we'll speak to one Australian
entrepreneur who's helping people
who need things in touch
with the others who have them -
for a small fee, of course.
After reports that 1400 cups are
used every day of the UK's
environment department, we want to
know how you take your cup of tea,
plastic, paper, or some other way?
What would it take to ditch
disposable and switch to renewable
cups? Get in touch.
Just use the hashtag BBCBizLive.
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
UK Chancellor Philip Hammond will
deliver his Autumn Budget today.
One of his challenges
will be to combat a decade
of flat productivity.
Until 10 years ago,
productivity was the motor that
drove UK economic growth.
This blue crooked line
is output per hour.
The straight line is
the actual measure -
and this broken line is what it
should be at if the trends before
the crisis had continued.
So it's a pretty big difference.
The typical rate of growth
in the last five years is only 0.2%.
The presumption was that
the underlying factors linked
to the financial crisis
would eventually improve.
But so far productivity
has remained stagnant.
Other European countries
are faring better.
Germany is 36% higher than the UK
and France is 30% higher.
And there is a correlation between
productivity and real wages.
In 2013, the OECD compiled how much
people actually have to spend -
in France it's this - $29,759,
compared with Britain - $26,687.
A $3,000 difference.
That is quite a difference.
Our economics editor,
Kamal Ahmed is here.
Let's start with that, we have a
problem in terms of our nearest and
dearest even if we leave them soon,
one budget won't resolve that, this
Philip Hammond going to do something
You're right, some of this
is down to what businesses investing
rather than what governments do. I
think governments can set the tone
for how the economy feels and
certainly many economists say that
if you borrow to invest you can
increase productivity so investing
in digital infrastructure, in
housing, in transport links, those
other kind of things that boost
productivity an economy.
some of those words in the last few
days, like the Digital economy, that
is pushing some money in the
direction that would help in terms
I think from some
economists the feeling is that he
isn't doing enough. That's because
Philip Hammond has a fiscal rule. He
wants to balance the government 's
books so that they spend one amount
and the tax and then that is in
balance by the middle of the next
decade. You should do more to borrow
now because interest rates are low,
and to push in things like Digital
five D and housing. Small
incremental changes which is what he
is criticised for, won't be enough.
Yet that seems to be what we will
Philip Hammond is also
concerned about the Brexit process.
Does he need to save up the money he
has in the economy for the moment
when written leaves the EU, could
that be hard Brexit and a shock to
the economy, would he need money
then and not now? So there's
cautious in the Treasury and there
has been a strategy to get the
deficit down, to hit these fiscal
targets and I can't imagine they
want to move off that.
He is a
relatively staid, calm character.
It will be ordered
were he to throw caution to the
wind, especially as we are literally
months away from Brexit.
interesting. I spoke to Rupert
Harrison, former chief of staff to
our former finance minister George
Osborne. He said investors looking
at Britain, and you need investors
to fund budget deficit, will be
thinking, there's the Brexit risk.
The last thing we need is a
government to suddenly signalled a
change of strategy because they have
the rock uncertainties which is the
direction of travel. He was urging
the Chancellor to be cautious, and
you're quite right, he is a cautious
man. I don't imagine we'll be
sitting here tomorrow saying, that
really change the dial on the way
the budgets are operating. I'm sure
there will be incremental changes
but nothing is massive.
He will be
on his feet and about four hours
you. Thank you both.
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
Ikea has re-launched a recall
of millions of chests and dressers
in the US and Canada
following the death
of an eighth child.
It said items in its Malm range
and other chests and dressers pose
a "serious tip-over and entrapment
hazard" if not secured to a wall.
Meg Whitman is stepping down
as chief executive of computer
server maker Hewlett Packard
During her six years in the post
she oversaw one of the biggest
corporate breakups in history.
Shares of HPE fell more than 6%
in after hours trading.
Skype's caller messages -- Skype's
app has been removed from source
with China, after the government
said it did not comply with local
law, media suggests that the
disruption started in October.
And US prosecutors have
charged an Iranian man
with hacking into HBO,
leaking Game of Thrones scripts
and demanding a $6m ransom.
Behzad Mesri is accused
of computer fraud, wire fraud,
extortion and identity theft.
Uber has confirmed that it concealed
a hack that affected 57 million
customers and drivers in 2016.
In the wake of the news,
Uber's chief security officer
Joe Sullivan has left the company.
Companies are required
to disclose significant data
breaches to regulators,
something Uber has,
by its own admission,
failed to do in this case.
With me is Emily Orton,
a cyber security analyst
with the security firm Darktrace.
Thank you for joining us. . Uber say
there is no indication that critical
details like bank details have been
downloaded. Can we know that?
details are still emerging. We can't
know that for certain at this stage
but clearly whatever details there
were, they are important enough for
them to have failed to disclose it
nearer the time this actually
happened. Which goes to show that
these data assets that the companies
are holding our critical business
assets now and they will be used
against firms by criminals.
million is a huge number, but also
600,000 for their drivers, they've
talked about ways of looking after
them, do those ideas make sense,
they talk about having a credit
monitoring protection system for
each of the drivers, will that help
The data is potentially out
there so I think that's probably
little comfort to drivers who depend
on Uber for their livelihood. Cyber
security is very difficult problem.
There is no silver bullet to this.
This is remedial work. Trying to
cover up the cracks at this point.
Their silver bullet seems to have
been, we will pay our way out of
this, perhaps not a huge amount of
money but to stop this being
downloaded. How familiar picture is
Pretty familiar. It is a
business decision whether or not you
pay up. Either way, damage to their
reputation. It begs the question how
many companies have done a similar
thing and we don't know about it.
The reality is that the of
corporations today have some kind of
safeguard on their networks.
had some responses on Twitter
saying, quadruple the sanction! That
would make them realise how
important this is.
And we have new
regulations coming out now in force.
There are a lot of new regulations
that we do expect to be penalising
companies, if they don't report
against a breach like this in a
Emily, thank you very
much indeed. Let's check the
financial markets, investors back in
buying mood this week, Hong Kong
stocks broke the 30,000 mark for the
first time in ten years as Asian
markets took their cue from Wall
Street, all three main indices in
New York closing at all-time highs
again. Tech firms the big winners,
top firms like Apple, Amazon and
Facebook and Google's parent company
alphabet firming up around 1%.
Australia's index continued the
trend as well. But global rally has
now reached Europe. The FTSE 100 and
the Dax in Frankfurt and Paris index
And Samira Hussain has
the details about what's ahead
on Wall Street Today.
The US Federal reserve, America's
central bank will release the
minutes from its October policy
meeting. The policymakers kept
interest rates unchanged during the
meeting. They pointed to strong
economic growth and strengthening
Labour market. Earnings continue on
Wednesday with one farm equipment
maker dear and company reporting. It
has benefited from higher
international demand for its
equipment. Investors will be keen to
hear what the company expects going
forward in 2018.
Richard Dunbar is investment
director at Aberdeen
Hello Richard. Let's talk about this
global rally. It keeps going up, the
likes of Tesla for example, they are
finding it hard to actually produce
It's a heady mix, low
interest rates, profits in the US,
and we are likely to get a tax boost
as well so that's a helpful recipe.
The leader in the US and other
markets have followed, companies
like Tesla generating cars, no
lorries, not generating profits and
not generating much cash, at some
point this needs to change but
investors for the moment are
Some say that bubbles are
made to be burst. Will we get a
bursting of a bubble?
There are many
stocks particularly in the
technology sectors, some will do
well and some will eventually
generate earnings to justify these
valuations, others won't. It's
probably time to be cautious,
particularly when we see in the US
that interest rates are going up and
it tends to be the price of money
going up, that is the thing that
pricks these bubbles.
Many of us
will have seen the jubilation in
Zimbabwe after the resignation of
Robert Mugabe. What will investors
CMS? A turnaround for the Zimbabwean
economy -- what will they CMS.
will see hope and expectation.
Zimbabwe had many advantages,
tourism, great mining sector, those
opportunities have been squandered
in the last 40 years. They may still
be there but at the end of the day
we still have Zanu-PF in power and
still got the army supporting them,
and we have a president likely to be
one of Mugabe's henchmen so I
perhaps would not hang out as much
bunting as we saw last might on TV
but the opportunity is there for a
Would you hang out
any bunting? This talk about the end
of an era that is at the start of a
new era? The suggestion from you is
that probably isn't.
I think it is
best to be sceptical, those who are
hungry in Zimbabwe yesterday will
still be hungry today, there's work
to be done because corruption is
endemic yet the opportunity is there
if those people wish to take it.
Thank you, Richard. Richard will be
back later to talk through the
papers with us. Stay with us.
Still to come, the gig economy
seems to be everywhere -
one company in Australia is cashing
in making $90 million
We'll find out more
in a few minutes.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
Holiday prices for this winter
are up 4% on a year ago,
and for next summer travellers
can expect to pay even more.
That's according to Britain's
second-largest holiday company,
Thomas Cook, which has just
published its full-year results.
Let's get more from Simon Calder,
travel editor at the Independent.
Good to see you, Simon, how are they
Think they are doing pretty
well, looking right across Europe.
They have driven a up 9% to £9
billion underlying profits up 8% to
£330 million. They do say it was a
tricky summer for the UK market.
Basically because there was so much
competition going into Spain.
However Thomas Cook is reporting
much stronger demand for Turkey and
four Egypt. Both of which were hit
by a slump in sales due to fears
about terrorism. From February it
becomes the first major tour
operator to go back into Tunisia,
which was on the Foreign Office
know- the goal list for a couple of
years until July this year. Looking
positive overall but those prices
you mention for a typical budget
break at this time of year for which
you might have paid £500 last winter
that will cost an extra £20 and a
two and half thousand pound family
holiday would be £150 more expensive
than this summer.
Party to do with
inflation of course, any other
mention from Thomas Cook about the
potential effects of Brexit? We
heard from EasyJet yesterday.
This is the real worry for a lot of
travel companies, easyJet, Ryanair
more likely to be affected and
Thomas Cook, which has a strong
component, and nobody thinks that
holidays to Portugal, Spain, Croatia
and Greece will be badly affected,
but ultimately the travel industry
is clamouring for an agreement on
what happens to aviation after 2019,
because of course it plans its
operation is a good year in advance,
and so they say we really need
clarity by March 2018 at the very
OK, Simon Calder, many
thanks for that update on Thomas
Cook. We have got the Budget coming
up, we have a live page for you to
start following now. Just a quick
headline, Philip Hammond must be
cautious, saying never so investors,
have a look online for that. --
You're watching Business
Live - our top story.
The UK's finance minister says
he will use today's Budget
to make Britain an "outward
looking, free-trading nation"
ahead of Brexit in 2019.
Now, taking on the gig
economy at its own game.
The start-ups which have disrupted
are now increasingly facing
new competitors themselves.
TaskRabbit was set up
almost a decade ago
as an online marketplace,
helping you to find workers
to complete odd jobs -
including cleaning, moving in,
or handyman work.
Well, it's about to face
new competition here in the UK
from a Sydney-based
start-up called Airtasker,
which already has
2 million users across Australia.
Set up in 2012, it processes $75m
worth of tasks a year.
Tim Fung is the founder
and CEO of Airtasker.
Hello there. Tell us how this. And,
you were being ask to do odd jobs
for a friend, somebody wanted you to
help out? -- tell us how this all
I was moving house, and I
asked a friend with a track, come
over and help me move apartments,
cleaning et cetera. At the end of
the weekend, he says, this is the
fourth time I have been ask to do
this kind of job, everyone says the
same thing, you have got a truck,
can you help us move? So there are
so many people across the world who
are looking to do some jobs, to earn
some extra money.
curtains in my house, definitely! I
want to ask you, could that cause
friction? You might be asking
somebody to do a job for you who
ordinarily would have done it for
free, and now they will say, no, you
need to pay me for this.
these jobs which are done for free
are probably costing you in
relationship equity with family and
friends, you might think it is free,
but they are probably thinking,
those guys asking me again!
will pay one way or another! Give us
a sense of the nuts and bolts of
this, of the range of stuff you are
doing. It sounds like pretty
everyday stuff, which is fairly
good, but a bit more to and from
time to time.
The market has a lot
of jobs like cleaning and handyman
jobs, but what Airtasker is doing
differently is allowing people to
create any kind of work that they
want as a job for another person. So
whether it is getting someone to fly
to Paris to drop off syngas is...
These are all happening
every day. One of the great ones I
saw yesterday was somebody who
wanted a Game Of Thrones themed date
night for their partner, so they had
someone design the entire apartment.
I cannot believe there is not a
company already doing that!
You have already linked in with some
quite well-established companies,
providing services for them,
building furniture, for example.
Australia, furniture assembly is
done through IKEA, you can hire an
Airtasker to do that. We'll so have
a company called Good Guys for
a classic example of a company that
takes business away from other
people? Maybe you have experienced
that, it is great that people are
getting bits and pieces, but other
people are losing part of their jobs
because of it?
The vast majority of
the jobs on Airtasker were already
traditionally done in the
independent contract model, so a
tradesperson, electrician or
plumber, already independent
contractors. That is about half of
the market. The other half is
entirely new jobs that have been
created, so it is hard to hire
someone as a tree rescuer, but these
are jobs being created out of thin
What kind of redress do you
have if the shelves fall down? Do
you have come back?
We have a great
community support team, which
supports all of the Airtasker
platform, we're public liability
insurance which covers if things go
wrong. We also have insurance for
our workers, so if they are injured,
they can get continuity of income.
Do you vet the workers?
police checks, background checks,
trade licences, so if you are
looking for someone who will come
into your house, you probably want
to have someone who has had a
background check, whereas if you are
a small business and you want
someone to do a letterbox drop, you
probably do not want somebody who
Don't you drive
down wages by opening this up to
anybody to do a job that a tradesman
The great thing is that
our business model is ending a
commission on the mat of endings
that a worker makes, so we are for
increased wages for workers. So we
are being an agent, we are the
representative, and what we don't do
is show transparency with what other
people are doing.
You have suggested
you are at 0.1% of your potential,
which suggests a vast opportunity.
There will be people tried to copy
this very quickly.
we are surprised that the market for
these platforms is not as large as
you would think in this day and age,
but certainly we think it is a
massive market, and we're going to
be doing everything we can.
you very much indeed for joining us.
In a moment, we'll take a look
through the business pages,
but first here's a quick reminder
of how to get in touch with us.
The Business Live page
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Business Live on TV and online -
whenever you need to know.
Richard is back to look through the
papers with us, let's first of all
start with this story about how the
Australian government is investing
in bitcoin, or at least in a firm
that is listed on the crypto
It is very
interesting that the whole
blockchain thing is becoming much
more mainstream, and firms like our
own are looking at how we can use
blockchain plumbing for the crypto
currency in our businesses. I think
governments will be wondering how
they can use this technology.
this a step away from talking about
bitcoin, which still has a row
gravitation, you can see governments
saying that they might be
Blockchain is the
plumbing that supports bitcoin and
other artificial currencies, and I
think we will see a lot of
brainpower and thought in that
direction, rather than speculating
on the currencies themselves.
story in the Wall Street Journal, a
fake and operation used to steal
from publishers, what has been
happening here, essentially,
publishers have been giving money to
them that are not what they say they
It is a traditional fraud,
albeit online, advertisers have been
fooled by fake websites, advertising
on the sites that don't really
exist, they are not showing these
adverts to customers like you and I,
so they lose, the publishers lose,
and the public loos. But it is a
traditional Ford, but in this area,
and we are seeing more and more of
that. -- traditional fraud.
environment department, 1400
disposable cups a day, we have asked
for your views, I am using a
reusable mug that I bought in 1999.
Somebody else says, but a 15p task
Because the coffee is hard,
I used to have them, I am twice as
Used a flask, it will stay hard
all day long!
A tax and a nudge,
that is what we have seen on plastic
Thank you Ray much, Richard,
good to see you. Thanks for
watching, bye for now.