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
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London