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.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
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Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
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A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
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Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
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A shot in the dark

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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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The Imitation Game, film review
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Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
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Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week