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.

Andreas Whittam Smith: The triumph of political mendacity

There is no distinction between Mr Darling and the rest of the political class

Darling's growth figures were too optimistic, says poll

Businessmen are not convinced by some of the key arguments in Alistair Darling's Budget, according to a survey for The Independent.

David Prosser: Next's man never misses an opportunity

Outlook: Another set of results from Next and another pitch from its youthful chief executive, Simon Wolfson, for a post in a David Cameron government. Asked yesterday whether he could think of anything good in Alistair Darling's Budget, he replied "nothing".

Industry: Business rate cuts and extra lending cheers small business

Small businesses were among the chief beneficiaries of yesterday's pre-election Budget, as the Chancellor introduced measures designed to promote industrial growth.

Computer games: Games industry welcomes extra help

Video game developers yesterday hailed Alistair Darling's decision to offer tax breaks to the industry in a move designed to head off an exodus of top talent from the UK.

Business Diary: Repaying the good people of Hartlepool

Good to see Lord Mandelson, right, hasn't forgotten his old constituents since leaving the Commons. The former Hartlepool MP's Department of Business offered the French oil giant Total preferential tax treatment to open up two new gas fields in the North Sea. That has lead to a new contract for the steel company Corus, where 350 jobs will now be saved at its factory in Hartlepool, which will build a pipeline for Total.

Michael Brown: Darling is disastrous but his argument is plausible – the Tories must up their game

In autumn the Tories won the argument but focus groups said their message scared voters

Ben Chu: Darling giveth - and taketh away

So much for Alistair Darling's promise that this budget would contain no pre-election give-aways.

Chancellor announces 'bank accounts for all' plan

The Government today announced plans to guarantee everyone access to a basic bank account.

Alistair Darling to reveal 'bank account for everyone' plan

Banks are to be put under an obligation to provide a free basic account to every UK citizen under new measures expected to be unveiled by Chancellor Alistair Darling in tomorrow's Budget.

MPs attack 'ludicrous' Foreign Office currency move

The "ludicrous" decision to stop protecting the Foreign Office budget from fluctuations in exchange rates has caused an "unacceptable risk" to its ability to function properly, MPs said today.

On the Brink, By Hank Paulson

The US Treasury Secretary defends shutting Lehmans

Leading article: The bright side of the banks

Alistair Darling is not used to receiving so much good news. Hot on the heels of Thursday's surprisingly resilient government borrowing figures arrives the unexpected revelation from Lloyds Banking Group, in which the taxpayer owns a 41 per cent stake, that it now hopes to turn a profit this year.

David Prosser: Darling faces another row with Brown

Outlook Be careful what you wish for. Alistair Darling will be delighted that government borrowing now looks set to come in well below the forecasts he made three months ago in his pre-Budget report – such revisions have generally been the other way round with this Government in recent times. Still, now the Chancellor has a tricky decision to make: does he spend his windfall next week on Budget sweeteners for swing voters, or leave it in the bank as a downpayment on deficit reduction?

Econoblog: Borrowing - not as bad as it might have been

The long and short of it is that Alistair Darling will have maybe another £15bn to splash around in next weeks Budget.

Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living