27/03/2014 The Papers


No need to wait to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines. Presented by Martine Croxall.

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McGealy subject to FA approval. Salford play seven leagues below


Manchester United. Welcome to our look ahead to what


the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With us are Ciaran Stacey


and Susie Boniface, the Fleet Street box. Starting with the Independent.


Its story is a major study that shows that students from state


schools are more likely to achieve top grade degree passes than those


from the independent sector with the same A`level results. The Financial


Times has a joint article by the Chancellor and his German


counterpart, which says any EU treaty change must guarantee


fairness for EU countries staying outside the Eurozone. The Telegraph


reports that savers who are locked into pensions and investments could


be given a free exit. There's more on the probe into energy prices on


the front of the Daily Mirror. The Daily Express says that millions of


people will be better off after the Government has announced a cap on


pension charges. Ed Miliband's call for further curbs on energy bills


makes the lead in the Guardian. The Daily Mail has the news that cats


have passed TB to humans for the first time. Let's begin with the


energy story, this 18 month long investigation that is being


announced. This is the Daily Mirror's headline. The blackout


blackmailer. Yesterday, this ?2 million a year energy fat cat, this


is Centrica Cowes boss Sam Laidlaw, has the nerve, says the paper, to


claim a probe into fixing their high prices could lead to power cuts. How


dare they treat us with such contempt. No doubting whose side


they are on. Quite rightly. I think most newspapers and most people will


be on the side of the consumer and their readers, who are paying


increasing energy costs. This guy came out and said we got an 18 month


enquiry into our prices, this is outrageous, none of us want the


lights to go out. It is not so veiled threat that the lights could


go off at some point. The Big Six are the ones we rely on to produce


our supply. They build nuclear power stations and gas plants, as well as


selling us the fuel that comes out of them. There's a huge problem


there because they are providing the supply as well as delivering the


product. They can, if they want to, say, we are going to stop investing


in power plants, you can do what you like. A lot of these companies are


based abroad as well, their central offices are elsewhere. So they are


not necessarily under our control. I genuinely believe there should be


some way that supply of our fuel is a matter of national interest and


security to some extent. We should be able... It should the


Government's responsibility to provide our power plants. Have a


nationalised industry providing fuel. The private companies filter


and send out, so there's retail and so on. It's the fact the retail and


the wholesale arms are so close together that you have problems like


this. One man can turn around and go, that's it, lights off! How would


that work? Separating the wholesale and the retail arm. How would that


help us as consumers? What the energy companies say is they don't


make huge profits. The price we sell our energy after consumers is not


that much more than we pay for it. Look over here. The problem is the


people they are paying for that energy in the first place their


wholesale arms. What they are doing, this is the accusation and


privately, a lot of energy company bosses admit this is true, they are


overcharging their retail arm so the wholesale arm makes bumper profits.


The retail arm seems to be paying quite a lot for the energy but


nobody can quite figure out why. They then pass those costs on to the


consumer. Nobody can quite figure out why they are paying as much for


their energy as they are. They go, it's too sensitive, we can't


possibly tell you how much it cost in the first place. But if you let


the market drive this, as we've seen for many years since there was this


deregulation of power supply, aren't you inevitably going to have bigger


companies emerging? Even if you break them up, over time the


successful ones will grow and take over. You should in theory have some


competition between them, but the level of competition is so small


between the Big Six that if you try to switch between them you will not


save an awful lot of money. And they play follow my leader. If one puts


their prices up they all do. Yes. They call it pricing elasticity. You


put your prices up, everybody knows this from their own energy bills,


they put the prices up when their wholesale prices go up and when they


go down again they don't bring them back down. We don't expect the


prices to fall. But on your point about how big these energy companies


are, that isn't necessarily, although that can be a problem, it


isn't the main problem. The main problem is vertical integration. You


have the wholesale and retail arms in the same business. You can have


as big a retail arm as you like, the problems come when the hold ``


wholesale and retail arm are together, and they cannot tell us


how much they are paying. Greene it's them saying, we have a product


that is absolutely vital to all of you. It is something everybody needs


in one form or another, whether its gas or electricity, everybody in the


country needs it to live and to survive. We are going to start


charging you whatever the hell we like. This is not seen as a service,


it seen as a business. If there was one part of it which we retained on


a national base, this is the service, the provision of fuel is


the service, the provision of fuel as a service to our people that we


should be paying for ourselves, that might perhaps change... We did used


to do that, that's what happened in the 70s. You end up with the


stranglehold of the people who produce it in the first place.


Governments are notoriously bad for planning for infrastructure like


power plants. They don't respond well to consumer demand at all,


which is how you end up with one coal or steel board with huge


amounts of power. If the workers decided to walk out, for example,


you don't get any power. But this doesn't work either. Somebody on


Twitter mentioned there is a social enterprise that is set up to provide


power and energy. They buy it from SSE, one of the Big Six, but they


managed to pass it on at a more affordable price to their consumers.


But it's very difficult for new companies to get a foothold. Very


difficult. It's expensive to build a power plant. You have to have quite


a lot of money in the bank, or at least a bank who will lend you a lot


of money, to go and build it in the first place. As a small company, you


will not go out and build a gas power plant. Are the lights going to


go out? This is threatening. The Big Six are very worried, that's why


someone is talking about the lights going out. There are cheaper and


easier ways of producing energy than the way they do it, but we don't


invest in that. The Daily Express now. Bigger pension pay`outs on


their way. Millions will get an extra ?35,000 across the life of


their pension. How so? This policy has been in the pipeline for a long


time. What the pensions minister announced today is there's going to


be a cap on how much your pension provider can charge you for


investing your money on your behalf. So when we pay into a pension when


we are in work and saving for our retirement, a company is out there


in testing in the stock market or putting it in a bank account or


doing whatever it wants to do with it on our behalf, and for that it


charges a fee. The fees that these companies charge can be quite high.


The cat that these companies charge can be quite high. The cap the


Government has put on is year, which sounds really low. The that is a


huge amount of money. What the Government was trying to do is make


sure those companies can no longer charge astronomical amounts for


taking your money and investing for you. This cap only applies to those


people who are going to be automatically enrolled in a


workplace pension under the new Government scheme, auto enrolment,


which means if you enter the workplace now your company simply


says, here you go, here's your pension. The Government says if you


don't have a choice you should at least have your fees capped. When


people are trying to eke out a living on a pension, that will make


a big difference. It will, if any of us ever get to draw our pension, of


course! What is interesting, the same as the annuity announcement


last week, this is going to cost the pension industry about ?200 million


out of their profits, if this comes in. They are already saying that if


you take the fees off, that means the traders who are perhaps trading


too much and charging constant commissions on pensions to do so,


they are going to be trading less on the stock market. That might mean


your pension stays at the very flat rate rather than perhaps goes up


more over the course of its lifetime. If you are bringing in


caps, it's not in their interest to start investing it for you because


you could end up potentially also with less. If these big pension


companies are losing ?200 million a year, they will find a way to get


that out of us again. They are not going to be prepared to go, 200


million, fair enough, George Osborne, you can have the lot. They


will find a way to get that back doing something else. Trading and


other fees that will come in. She sounds like a city trader, telling


us we need to keep trading our stocks. If you stick your money in a


bank account or in a stock market tracker and leave it there, it's


often the best way to make money rather than keep changing what


stocks you hold. There you go, financial advice. I'm not a


qualified financial adviser. Ignore everything he says! Let's move onto


the Daily Telegraph. Hillsborough police questioned over deaths. Four


police officers have been interviewed under caution as


potential manslaughter suspects, following an investigation into the


Hillsborough disaster. This is the first time that police officers have


been questioned under criminal caution. Isn't that amazing? It was


25 years ago, 96 people, men, women and children, were crushed to


death. The police, we now know, were involved in some of the decisions


that led to those deaths, and possibly its those allegations about


covering up what those decisions were. It's taken 25 years for the


police to get around to arresting and questioning under caution their


own members. There are 13 police officers who have been questioned


under caution, for charges including manslaughter and also misconduct in


public office and perverting the course of justice. 12 of them have


long since retired, only one is still serving. They've obviously had


25 years to prepare for these possible interviews coming up as


well. This is 18 months, two years since the independent panel found


they had these questions to answer. It is gracefully slow. It often is


with the police. Funny that. There are no institutions better than


covering up their own mistakes and possibly, although we don't exactly


know here, criminality, than the police service. We've seen that time


and again. People around at the time, they certainly remember the


accusations flying around about what the supporters have been doing.


About how some supporters have been your knitting and other supporters,


they'd deliberately created this crush at the Hillsborough stadium,


which all turned out to be fabricated. They claimed even


children were drinking and had caused the crush themselves. Some of


the more outrageous claims people will be able to dispute, but so much


time has passed. Will memories be accurate?


Of course not. If you are trying to remember what happened 25 years ago,


But this is 25 years ago. It is just been so delayed.


Now the Independent. A major study showing that state school students


get better degrees than private school pupils with the same grades,


but they have to get into the university first, though? It is


interesting. It is a big study of people that went through university,


finding that undergraduates of state school tend to do better than


counterparts who have come from a private school. There will be lots


of explanations, one is that they have had to work harder to get in.


So they work harder at university. My explanation is how have they done


the study in the first place? They have probably taken people who


achieved the same grade, one at state and one at private. Let's say


you have two pupils with B at A level. Imagine that the pupil who


got the B at state school worked harder.


What happens after university, though, does it matter? Does it


matter if you have a good private school on your CV, will it matter


the grade you get at degree level? I don't know. No`one has asked for my


grades of any my exams. I think if you sent your children to Harrow or


Eton, they should get their money back, they are obviously not worth


the cash! Now the FT. A clash with Syria and Turkey and Twitter and


Facebook bans? Even the President has managed to get around the block.


They tried to ban Twitter, they could not. They have trying to ban


YouTube. They had banned it for three years. Perhaps that is easier,


but it is businessa. That as a country, it is not that far away


from Europe. That they can just ban something on the internet. If they


wanted to do something here, something that the Prime Minister


did not fancy, say banning grant shoppes, it would be interesting. I


don't know how it could work. You either have, it is a democracy, if


you are operating a democracy that is not as democratic as anywhere


else, you would tear it down. It does not work. Recep Tayyip Erdogan


feels under pressure. He has had protests on the streets. He has the


Arab Spring going on around him and Syria on the doorsteps, his actions


are becoming increasingly drabbing owna. That is it for the papers for


this hour. Fortunately, we are back at 11. 30pm for another stab at it.


Join us then. At 11.00pm, we speak about customers being given a poor


deal by the big six energy companies.


Hello and welcome to Sportsday. The headlines:


All hail Alex Hales, England's first Twenty20 centure centurian `` cent


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