Ben Chu

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

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Steve Webb says: 'We need to give people options about what to do with their own money'

Budget 2014: Pension pots ‘can be used to buy Lamborghinis’, says Lib Dem minister

We don’t mind if people near retirement blow savings on fast cars, says policy reformer – as IFS warns there will be losers

Household debt-to-income ratio continues to rise

Budget 2014: The reality is that Osborne still needs us to spend cash, not save it

Three months ago George Osborne's watchdog had to move at the speed of a whippet. Robert Chote's team at the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was compelled to make some chunky revisions to its economic forecasts of nine months earlier. Like the rest of the forecasting community, the OBR did not see last year's sharp recovery coming. This time around, though, the OBR has not needed to be so radical.

Mark Carney: Central banks' inflation obsession 'fatally flawed'

Personnel overhaul sees two new deputies installed, including the IMF's 'Manouche'

Budget 2014: What will be in George Osborne’s fifth Budget?

Despite the economic recovery the Chancellor still has little fiscal room for manoeuvre

Netflix thrown into inflation basket by ONS

The price of downloading films from the internet will now be taken into account by the Office for National Statistics when it calculates the monthly rate of inflation.

'No evidence' Bank of England knew about foreign exchange rate rigging

Bank fights back as Mark Carney plans new deputy governor role

Public sector workers in some parts of Britain are earning up to £3,200 a year more than their private sector neighbours

New figures go against right-wing claims that public sector workers are grossly overpaid

This is a highly relevant set of statistics

Osborne's austerity policies helped push average private sector pay above public sector pay

Austerity bites as private sector pay rises above the public sector for the first time since 2010

George Osborne’s austerity policies have helped to push average private sector pay above public sector pay, official research has showed.

China allows Chaori Solar bond default

Chinese investors were given a wake-up call today as the country witnessed its first onshore corporate bond default in recent history.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice