Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly insisted that the task of clearing the deficit is not completed

George Osborne insists Britain must make £25bn more welfare cuts in 2014

The Chancellor has branded 2014 the 'year of hard truths'

David Cameron sidestepped awkward questions on pensioner benefits on ‘The Andrew Marr Show’

Pensioner perks under threat after next election, David Cameron admits

PM hints that wealthy retirees could lose benefits if Tories win next election, as he sets out key policies for manifesto

The Business Matrix: Monday 6 January 2014

Hammond in fresh reform bid

Lord Ashcroft says Tories need ‘a coalition of voters’ to win next time

Half of defecting Tory voters would go to Ukip, says poll

The Conservatives attracted just 6 per cent of those who did not vote for them at the last election

UK weather: Britain faces another barrage of rain as coastal regions count cost of 'worst storms in 20 years'

Two dead, a teenager missing, damage to homes and businesses, transport disrupted. And it isn't over. More rain, high tides and gale-force winds are on the way

George Osborne has been accused of burying a 'stealth cut' in the Autumn statement

George Osborne's 'stealth cuts' will force millions to miss economic recovery

More than three million low-income families risk missing out on the economic recovery even if wages start to keep pace with inflation, according to an analysis for The Independent.

David Cameron called Anne McIntosh one of the party's 'most assiduous' MPs

North Yorkshire female MP Anne McIntosh faces deselection in challenge to David Cameron

One of the Conservatives’ few female MPs in the North of England is facing a damaging second reselection battle amid an outbreak of infighting.

David Cameron in 2006, with candidates for the 2010 election, announcing a drive for more women to be selected

David Cameron's dream of an 'A-list' of women candidates fades

Less than a third of those selected so far in Tory constituencies are women, as Prime Minister becomes frustrated with slow progress of modernising his party

Waves hit the seafront at Brighton

Government warned to cancel flood specialists job cuts as storms continue to batter UK

More than 1,600 posts are due to go at the Environment Agency by October

The National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers have warned they plan to resume strike action by mid-February if there is no sign of 'significant progress' in talks with Education Secretary Michael Gove

NUT say New Year survey is 'damning indictment' against Michael Gove

YouGov survey shows 79 per cent of teachers believed the Government's impact on education system was on the whole 'negative'

Dr Fox said doctors and nurses were partly responsible for incidences of poor care, referring to the Stafford Hospital scandal

Liam Fox calls for end to ring-fencing of finances for 'wasteful NHS'

Former Shadow Health Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, says an obsession with targets and spending was 'killing patients'

How Ed Miliband can harness the right's tactics to bring in a wave of left-wing populism in 2014

Simple messages must be repeated ad infinitum, hammered into the electorate’s skulls

In a letter sent to Iain Duncan Smith, campaigners warned that disabled people make up two thirds of those hit by the policy

Bedroom tax hits 60,000 families with carers

About 60,000 families living in council homes where there is someone caring for an elderly or disabled relative have been caught out by the “bedroom tax”.

The Independent's survey shows it has not been a good year for the three main Westminster parties

No winners in poll of polls as Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats fail to seize initiative

The Independent’s survey shows it has not been a good year for the three main Westminster parties

A pint with Alex Salmond? ‘I’d check my wallet,’ says David Cameron

The PM’s comments came when he was asked who he’d rather head down to the local boozer with: Nick Clegg, Ed Milliband or Alex Salmond

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links