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Benefits rising for ‘Bake Off’ maker

Budget cuts start to bite Whitehall's contractors

As the Government outlines its public spending cuts, companies are beginning to feel the pinch

The Week Ahead: Updates from builders to clarify housing market

Investors will be hoping for further clarity on the housing market when the builders Persimmon and Bovis Homes issue updates this week.

Jewels of British industry at risk of falling into American hands

American companies are preparing to launch daring takeover bids for a host of Britain's biggest corporate names – including BAE Systems and AstraZeneca – thanks to the weakness of the pound against the dollar.

Investment Column: Poor numbers don't give Ashtead its credit

Balfour Beatty; Consort Medical

National Audit Office to investigate M25 PFI deal

Watchdog to scrutinise motorway contract, signed in the depth of the credit crunch

Mark Steel: If only marriage were as wholesome as Tories pretend

Maybe a tax break for elderly people could help them to remember stuff

Jarvis administrator inundated as predators scent a killing

Firms flock to make bids for the separated divisions of the failed rail maintenance group

The Week Ahead: HSBC set to reveal robust full-year figures

Analysts are poised to upgrade their forecasts when HSBC posts what are expected to be a strong set of full-year numbers this morning.

London's Tube deal can't close the gap

With yet another row erupting over the Underground upgrade programme, the fractious PPP deal looks as much part of the problem as ever

Investment Column: Balfour is cheap and US unit gives cheer

Computacenter; Weir

Rising toll fears over crossing sell-off plans

Motoring groups expressed fears today that drivers could face increased toll charges under Government plans to sell off the Dartford Crossing on the M25 - Europe's busiest motorway.

Bidders chosen for £1bn offshore links tender

Thirteen companies are in the running to buy £1.15bn-worth of electricity transmission links to nine offshore windfarms as part of a £15bn plan to improve competition in the UK's green energy infrastructure.

Building companies fined £130m by OFT

Biggest ever investigation by regulator finds evidence of 'widespread' illegality

James Moore: Taxpayers hit by corporate cowboy sting

Outlook The cowboy builder has become something of a British archetype, providing a steady stream of easy fodder for television consumer shows when they're short of ideas. And when the crooks are exposed, they give the bigger boys the chance to suck air into their teeth and counsel people only to use proper accredited companies that might not be cheap, but do things properly.

Top ten penalties in contract rigging probe

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) today issued fines totalling £129.5 million to 103 construction firms after an investigation into the rigging of contracts.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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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 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own