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.

George Osborne won't borrow to cut tax

Chancellor George Osborne insisted today he will not borrow money to pay for tax cuts.

George Osborne, at the Thameslink project at Blackfriars station in London yesterday, described the growth figures as 'positive'

Zero growth and job losses blow Osborne's deficit plans off course

Government borrowing is expected to rocket to levels higher than would have been seen under Labour, despite George Osborne's deep spending cuts.

The Sketch: High-pitched Cameron flustered by Labour's farmyard noises

Yesterday I worried the Sketch was a bit lofty about the House of Commons' economic debate. The Labour front bench was arguing in sign language, the signs were rude, and the Sketch shuddered, perhaps a little delicately. The signs got ruder yesterday, if Tory reports are true.

Simon Carr: Our smug Chancellor finds the currency crisis rickly amusing

George Osborne was so relaxed, so smiley; even the subcutaneous sneer had sunk out of sight.

Osborne will change course, says Alistair Darling

Alistair Darling today claims that George Osborne will inevitably have to change course to stimulate Britain's economy.

Simon Carr: He's betting on tax cuts, but my money is on yet another war

Sketch: Balls is putting all his chips on red and letting the wheel spin. It's not casino banking but casino politics

Alistair Darling reveals Labour crises row

The last Labour government failed to "come through" the financial crisis politically because of profound disagreements at "the very top", former chancellor Alistair Darling said today.

John Rentoul: Why did nobody stop Gordon Brown?

Another memoir from a former member of Brown's government adds brushstroke detail and depth to his monster status

So arrogant and stupid they might bring us all down: Darling's verdict on Britain's bankers

Alistair Darling feared the bank chiefs at the heart of the financial crisis were "so arrogant and stupid that they might bring us all down".

Leading article: The former Chancellor's critique still applies

Arrogance and stupidity are not confined to a particular tricky moment in the banking sector

Ed Balls fears Alistair Darling memoirs damage

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has acknowledged that Alistair Darling's memoir of life in 11 Downing Street has handed the Conservatives an opportunity to divert attention from the economic difficulties facing the UK.

The Darling version: King and Balls savaged by ex-chancellor

Alistair Darling confirms that Gordon Brown tried to prise him out of the Treasury in 2009 to put Ed Balls in his place

Alistair Darling to expose 'volcanic' Gordon Brown

Former Chancellor Alistair Darling will lift the lid on Gordon Brown's increasingly "brutal and volcanic" demeanour when his memoirs are published next week, according to a Labour-supporting blog.

Leading article: A lever that the Chancellor would be unwise to pull

However it is dressed up, a tax cut for the wealthy is still a tax cut for the wealthy
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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 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future