News Ed Balls denied the claim that he would go beyond a 50p top tax rate

Ed Balls could consider increasing the top rate of tax to 55p or even 60p if he became Chancellor, former Trade minister Digby Jones claimed today.

Brown launches £50m boiler scrappage scheme

Gordon Brown yesterday launched a Government scheme offering families a discount to trade in their old boilers for new ones, in a bid to cut emissions and reduce bills.

Robin Scott-Elliot: FA Cup lacking in glitter but darts remains pure gold

View From The Sofa: World Darts, FA Cup Third Round/BBC, Sky, ITV

Consumers faced with New Year VAT increase

Today is the last day that consumers can benefit from the temporary VAT rate of 15 per cent before it returns to 17.5 per cent in the New Year.

David Prosser: Chancellor's stocking is still empty

Outlook: So Alistair Darling didn't get an early Christmas present after all. After the initial, truly shocking, estimate of a third-quarter 0.4 per cent contraction in GDP, an upwards revision and better-than-expected construction numbers raised hopes that the third quarter might in the end have come in flat or even slightly ahead.

British economy faces long hard slog to real recovery

CBI's forecast of weak 2010 growth is far from the Chancellor's upbeat outlook

Public borrowing hits all-time high

Public borrowing hit an all-time high of £20.3 billion for a single month in November, official figures showed today.

New part-time jobs boost rise in employment

Hopes that Britain may soon emerge from its worst recession in three-quarters of a century were boosted with the publication yesterday of the latest jobless numbers.

The Sketch: He's got a moustache – and that's about it

They don't tell lies, these people, but that's very different from saying they tell the truth

Steve Richards: So who said what to whom? The truth about the cuts debate

The decision to put up taxes again caused angst beyond the Treasury

Bruce Anderson: From Blair to Darling, Labour only ever acts out of self-interest

If Brown could scrape home, he wouldn't care what state the country was in

Treasury prepares for Tory austerity

Officials in the Treasury are already preparing plans for much sharper cuts in public spending in the event of the Conservatives coming to power, according to Whitehall sources.

Anger over exceptions to state pensions increases

Pensioners' leaders accused Alistair Darling yesterday of an "underhand and shabby" move after it emerged that his promise of a 2.5 per cent rise did not apply to all elements of the state pension.

Government accused over 'shabby' pensions move

The Government was today accused of treating pensioners in an "underhand and shabby" manner after it was disclosed that its promised 2.5 per cent rise did not apply to all elements of the state pension.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown denies rift with Chancellor Alistair Darling

Gordon Brown today said it was "completely wrong" to suggest that he overruled Alistair Darling over taking tougher measures to reduce Britain's ballooning deficit.

The Sketch: The Tories' attack plan isn't risible – it's pitiful

So, they say shadow leader of the House Sir George Young will be "needed in government" after the election and won't stand for Speaker, should another election come about. He's one of the few front-bench Tories with ministerial experience. He did the railways, I seem to recall. Any experience is better than none.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there