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.

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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Fraud contributes 11p to a £2.00 box of half a dozen eggs
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The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
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booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital