Money Arthur and Joan Foster at a family wedding in 1997

This week it's pensioners who have been mis-sold. But we're all victims of bad advice.

Britain's most eco-friendly neighbours

Keeping up with the Joneses has never been better for the planet

Bristol's kids facing an uncertain future

Bath 45 Bristol 8

Leading article: Outdated age discrimination

When the Government scrapped the mandatory retirement age for civil servants in October, they were lauded for being progressive. After all, we live in a society with lengthening life expectancy. People over 60 are more active than ever before. So it is only right that the state recognise this. Indeed, it would be hypocrisy to send 65-year-old civil servants home for good while the House of Commons is packed with 89 MPs over the retirement age and the House of Lords is often referred to as Britain's most expensive retirement home.

EU court says UK retirement law is justified

A law that gives employers the right to force staff to retire can be justified if it is part of a wider social policy, the European Union's top court said Thursday.

Exclusive: Ageism law will be 'disastrous' for consumers

Plans to ban age as a factor in premiums will hit millions of people, warn insurers. By Julian Knight

Pensioners & families: Concession to basic rate taxpayers made permanent

Families on more modest incomes, particularly if they have children, will do best from the pre-Budget report – at least in terms of direct taxation changes – along with pensioners who will benefit from bigger-than-expected increases in benefits.

Virginia Ironside’s Dilemmas: I'm struggling to cope with caring for my parents

Dear Virginia,

I seem to be trapped in a kind of sandwich of care. My parents are both over 80 years old and are starting to need my help constantly, often ringing me up three times a day and needing me to visit daily, while my children are aged eight, 10 and 13. They also need me. My husband complains he never sees me, and sometimes I think I'm going mad. How do others cope in this situation?

Yours sincerely, Valerie

Cold snap brings snow to UK

Large parts of the UK were today waking up to a blanket of snow as an Arctic front swept across the country in the first prolonged cold snap of the winter.

Energy firms under pressure to pass on new low oil prices

Britain's energy suppliers came under intense pressure to knock billions of pounds off domestic fuel bills yesterday after the price of oil fell to a new two-year low.

Dame Joan appointed Champion of the elderly

Broadcaster and writer Dame Joan Bakewell was appointed by the Government today as a champion of the elderly.



The Insider: Heroic heels to brighten up the dreariest day

The weather may be a little cold outside, but slipping on a pair of these exquisite, vivid red shoes from Pour La Victoire is sure to brighten up even the dreariest day. Called Pascale, the gladiator-style heels from David Giordano's chic range incorporate some intricate detailing, including braided ankle straps and trendy studs. Priced at £265 (020-7729 5050).

Virginia Dilemmas Ironside’s: How can I help my mother get her life back?

Dear Virginia, How can I help my mother?

My father died four years ago, and she refuses to look for anyone new, saying no one can replace him. She's only in her fifties, but won't consider training for a career. She has sold her flat and now rents, has no pension, and I am desperately concerned about her future. She seems happy enough, but does nothing all day. I'm 34, single and work as a tour guide, and every time I leave the country I'm sick with worry. Yours sincerely, Elsa

Rosalind Goodfellow: First woman Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church

Rosalind Goodfellow was an outstanding lay member of the United Reformed Church, at the forefront of the att-empts of the churches of Britain and Ireland to move towards unity in the last quarter of the 20th century. She was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church for 1982-3, becoming not only the first lay Moderator but also the first woman to hold the position.

Charities see £120m frozen in Iceland bank collapse

Voluntary groups fear drop in public donations and government support

Leading older people's charities set to merge

Leading older people's charities Help the Aged and Age Concern England will be merging in April next year.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence