13/01/2018 BBC Weekend News


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13/01/2018

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Good evening.

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The leader of the Liberal Democrats,

Sir Vince Cable, has warned

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the Government it would send out

the wrong message if it bails out

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the struggling construction company

Carillion using taxpayers' money.

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It's feared the firm,

which has debts of £1.5 billion,

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could collapse after creditors

rejected a possible rescue plan.

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Carillion employs about 20,000

people in the UK and is one of

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the Government's main contractors.

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Our business correspondent

Joe Lynam reports.

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This is Liverpool's newest hospital

under construction.

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It will be the biggest single bed

hospital in the UK, and it is being

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built by Carillion. Now there is

concern that projects like these

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could be affected if the company

collapses. From prisons, hospitals,

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schools and rail, Carillion is

responsible for some of the UK

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plasma largest infrastructure

maintenance projects. So should the

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Government bailed the debt-laden

company out?

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What has to happen in this case, the

contracts have to be kept going and

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supporting the supply

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chain and the tens of thousands of

workers, that can be done by the

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Government taking lots of this

in-house, or re-tendering in other

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cases. The Government can just do a

financial bailout. The shareholders

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and creditors, the big banks, had to

take a hit, they cannot just

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off-load losses to the taxpayer.

Carillion is a major British company

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with hundreds of contracts running

prisons, maintaining hospitals under

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MoD facilities, with almost 20,000

employees here and tens of thousands

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more dependent on the company.

But it has run up debts of £1.5

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billion, including almost £1 billion

to its banks, whose patience has run

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out.

Britain's biggest ever rail

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infrastructure

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project, high two, starts major

construction this year. Here at

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Euston station, Carillion is meant

to build it, but given its mountain

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of debt there is a very real chance

that the Government might have to

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stop in and give those contracts to

other companies, or simply bail the

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company out, with all the moral

hazards that comes with.

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The RMT has called on the Government

to provide reassurance for thousands

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of workers who could be affected.

Also caught in the crossfire,

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hundreds of smaller companies who

carry out subcontracted work on

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behalf of Carillion.

Potentially it could be devastating,

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many are owed millions by Carillion

and if they do not get those monies,

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of course they are at risk as a

business. The other thing is there

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will be thousands of jobs,

potentially, lost as a result.

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If Carillion cannot be saved are

restricted to, the consultants EY

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have been put on notice to take over

as administrators, a precautionary

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measure which the Government and

thousands of staff hope will not be

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needed.

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And Joe Lynam joins me now.

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There is an enormous dilemma

here for the Government -

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What is it likely to do?

There are

loads of meetings behind the scenes,

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there were a view on Thursday and I

understand there will be meetings by

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officials this weekend. Major

departments are involved, such as

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the scale of the problem.

There is transport, the Treasury,

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business, justice. It is chaired by

Cabinet Office officials, who have a

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new minister, David Lidington. The

Government stresses they have

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contingency plans in place which are

robust if the company should need to

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go into administration. I have been

told this issue needs to be solved

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in a matter of days, not weeks.

Thank you, Joe.

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Consumers can no longer be charged

extra simply because they're paying

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for something using a card.

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From today, it'll be unlawful

to charge credit or debit customers

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more than other customers.

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Some retailers have already said

they will raise overall prices

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in response to the change.

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Adina Campbell reports.

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They are the small fees

added at the very end

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of the buying process.

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In percentage terms it

may not be that much,

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but these card surcharges add up.

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Not any more.

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Under new EU rules, retailers

on or offline can no longer charge

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customers for paying with a credit

or debit card.

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The Treasury says these

surcharges cost consumers

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£166 million every year.

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But some companies such as concert

venues can still charge

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a booking or service fee.

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No longer will they be

penalised just for paying

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by credit or debit card.

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Now with the end of surcharges

you are comparing like for like.

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The price you see

is the price you pay.

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You don't get a nasty

sting at the end.

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But some shoppers are not convinced.

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They can do it very sneakily,

can't they, and just hide that 2%

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or whatever it's going to be

in the cost of what you're

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going to purchase.

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I don't see why we should have

to pay that for actually

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using a means of payment that's kind

of, you know,

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universally acknowledged.

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At the end of the day,

they'll end up passing

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it onto the consumer,

so it doesn't make that much

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difference, to be quite honest.

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Traders could feel the effects, too,

because card companies will still

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charge for their services,

but can no longer pass

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that fee to customers.

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Vin runs a group of small businesses

and is also president of

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the British Independent Retailers'

Association.

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Nearly 63% of our sales

are by credit card and debit card

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so it will affect us

in the long-term if rates

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and increased rates do go up.

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For retailers like this

hardware store, today's ban

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throws up several options.

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They may decide to suck up

the cost of processing

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a debit or credit card.

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Alternatively, they could simply put

up their prices or they may decide

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to re-brand these fees

as a service charge.

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One business that's already been

criticised is the delivery company,

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Just Eat, which has said it

will impose a new service

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charge for card payments.

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There are now calls

for the new changes to be closely

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monitored to ensure consumers

are not punished for

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paying by plastic.

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Adina Campbell, BBC News.

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A young male model -

described as an inspiration

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to young black men -

has died after being stabbed

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in a street in west London.

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Harry Uzoka, who was just 25,

was signed to one of the world's top

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modelling agencies and had recently

done a photo shoot with GQ Magazine.

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Two men, aged 27 and 28, have been

arrested on suspicion of murder.

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Dentists have accused the Government

of not doing enough to tackle

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tooth decay in England.

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New figures indicate

there were nearly 43,000 operations

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to remove children's teeth last year

- a 17% increase on four years ago.

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The British Dental Association says

England now provides

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a second-class service compared

to Scotland and Wales.

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Our health correspondent

Dominic Hughes has the story.

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Tooth decay in children is

distressing, painful and avoidable.

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Dentists say sugary snacks

and drinks are the biggest cause.

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British children drink more soft

drinks than anywhere else in Europe.

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And the number of multiple

extractions, which have to take

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place in hospital under general

anaesthetic, is continuing to grow.

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Figures compiled by the Local

Government Association showed

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there were nearly 43,000 multiple

tooth extraction is among under 18s

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in England last year.

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That's around 170 every day

of the working week.

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Overall, there's been an increase

of 17% in just four years.

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Dentists say children in England

are suffering and are being offered

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a second-rate service when compared

to Scotland and Wales.

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The Department of Health in England

says the introduction of a tax

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on sugary drinks was part

of its plan to reduce

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the number of extractions.

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We very much welcome the sugar tax,

but we need the Government

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to focus on other areas,

for example like price

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promotions or those discounts,

and the level of marketing

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on unhealthy products.

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All those colours and animations

are always enticing children

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to prefer those products,

making the job of eating healthy

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products and healthier diet much

more difficult for parents.

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With proper oral hygiene,

good brushing and avoiding high

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sugar snacks and drinks,

thousands of children could be

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saved from experiencing

the pain of a rotten tooth.

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Dominic Hughes, BBC News.

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To rugby union and Premiership

champions Exeter Chiefs

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have beaten Montpellier

in the European Champions Cup -

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it means a win in their final

pool match will put them

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through to the quarter finals.

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-- could put them through.

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Ulster have also kept their hopes

of progressing on track,

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as Adam Wild reports.

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Sandy Park is where you find the

cheats, and this was certainly an

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occasion for leaders. Top of the

English league, Exeter against

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Montpellier, top of the French. They

cross channel challenge with plenty

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at stake. Defeat for Exeter would

end European hopes. This first try

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keeping them alive. Tense, tied, not

much space, but with Olly Woodburn

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on the wing, you don't always

needed.

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That was brilliant, his second,

perhaps, even better. This secured

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the bonus point which might yet

prove crucial in the fight was

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second in their group.

The cheats are back in charge. In

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Ulster, a battle to lead pool one,

that is well shall have been for

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most of the competition. The French

side once appearing unbeatable, now

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seemingly reachable. Tries either

side of half-time and four Ulster

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Micro, who now go top with just one

game to go.

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Adam wild, BBC News.

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There's more throughout the evening

on the BBC News Channel,

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we are back with the late

news at 9:15pm.

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