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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam