Ben Chu

Ben Chu is The Independent's Economics Editor. Previously he was the newspaper's chief leader writer.

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UK house prices were up 9.9 per cent year on year in December, according to the Office for National Statistics

OECD warns George Osborne over weak housing construction

New housing starts in England fell by 20 per cent in the second half of 2014

Athens’ commercial districts were quiet yesterday, as a possible government split looms

Greek bailout: Government reveals economic reforms – but Syriza dissenters says it has gone back on its election promises already

The proposals – which include cracking down on tax evasion and smuggling – will be considered by eurozone finance ministers tomorrow

More homes were built in 2014 compared to previous years

Collapse in new housebuilding heaps pressure on ministers

Only 29,800 new housing starts in England in the final quarter of 2014

EU and Greek flags fly outside the Acropolis in Athens yesterday, as Greece asked its EU creditors for a six-month bailout extension

A 'wriggle' or a 'Trojan Horse'? Greece's olive branch to creditors gets short shrift

Yesterday’s war of words with Germany raised fears of a Greek exit

Office workers sit around a monument in Paternoster Square, in front of the London Stock Exchange

Employment rate hits record high as wages continue to crawl up

Office of National Statistics recorded the last time it was this high was in 2005, before the recession

Ready for Grexit? Protesters gathered in Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek parliament, last week

Grexit: How likely is a Greek exit from the Euro and what would happen to the economy?

Greece could exit the single currency within weeks

This petrol station in Birmingham is thought to be the first in the UK to drop the price of a litre of unleaded below £1 since 2009

Inflation falls to lowest level in more than half a century

The Bank of England said last week that it expected low inflation in the UK to tip over into outright deflation in the spring.

Sir Howard Davies says financial regulation has become excessively prescriptive

Sir Howard Davies: 'We've let bankers duck and weave'

He has been dodging political missiles as chair of the Airports Commission, but Sir Howard also has plans to reform finance

Campaigners hold a solidarity protest for Greece in Trafalgar Square

Greece bailout: Why won't Athens accept a bailout extension and what does Syriza want instead?

Greece's debt is currently €322 billion

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation fell to 4.8% in November

UK inflation at record low of 0.3%: Why is it important and what does it mean for you?

Falling fuel prices and supermarket price wars have contributed to the drop in inflation of a record 0.3 per cent low, which in turn is boosting household spending power. But what is low inflation and what are the consequences?

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own