Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been accused of attempting to hide the bad news by announcing it at the same time as the Autumn Statement

New Universal Credit benefits system to miss 2017 deadline, admit ministers

Around 700,000 claimants will not transfer to the new system until 2018 at the earliest, Department of Work and Pensions admits

George Osborne said in June that the savings from delaying the state pension age were 'absolutely enormous'

Autumn Statement will make the winter of old age colder and harder for today's young people

Will there even be state pensions by the time my children grow up?

What have we learned from the Autumn Statement?

The plan is working, the Chancellor said with a smile

Harriet Harman: Amazon should give a donation to a women’s refuge

PMQs: Are Clegg, Cameron and Osborne now leaders of the besieged centre?

There was plenty of interest in the House of Commons today, but first Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman unexpectedly managed to embarrass herself

David Cameron is currently on a three day trip to China

No tax cuts until end of decade says Prime Minister with married couples set to benefit further

Prime Minister said austerity measures will remain in place past 2018 but would like to “extend” tax breaks for married couples when possible

The Leader of the Commons, Andrew Lansley, and his Liberal Democrat deputy, Tom Brake, have proposed that in future years no more than three amendments to the Queen’s Speech will be allowed

Andy McSmith's Diary: An ingenious solution to blue-on-blue attacks - ban them

It’s the blue-on-blue attacks that really upset David Cameron, when Tory MPs launch a raid against their own government.

The BBC Trust has rejected a complaint over its decision not to play Ding, Dong, The Witch Is Dead in full after Lady Thatcher's death

BBC defends decision to ban 'Ding, Dong, The Witch Is Dead' song after Lady Thatcher's death

The song was at the centre of a campaign by opponents of the former prime minister who tried to get it to top the charts after she died

UK construction sector growing at its fastest pace in six years

Britain's construction sector expanded at its fastest pace in six years in November, hitting its highest levels of output and employment since August 2007, according to newly released data.

Boris Johnson is seen as a possible challenger to David Cameron's leadership of the Conservative Party

David Cameron brushes Boris Johnson aside over IQ comments

The Prime Minister has asserted that the London mayor was speaking for himself when he commented that some people are not clever enough to be a success

Lloyds confirms Lord Blackwell as next chairman

Lloyds Banking Group today confimed that Lord Blackwell will be its next chairman putting an end to weeks of speculation.

David Cameron will hope his China trade delegation make good progress

The money shot: David Cameron’s Chinese entourage

Cameron’s priorities clear as stars of British business join trade mission

Official figures have revealed that the Government is breaking its promise to ensure that a new council house or flat is built to replace every one sold to tenants

Ministers ‘breaking promise over new council homes’

The Government is breaking its promise to ensure that a new council house or flat is built to replace every one sold to tenants, official figures have revealed.

Back to square one: Isa Muaza’s botched deportation reflects badly on Britain

Ms May should reconsider her approach to this case, and to others like it

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement should have good news on the deficit and employment – even if the national debt remains disturbingly high

Things are looking up for the economy, but don't get too excited

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement should have good news on the deficit and employment – even if the national debt remains disturbingly high

Mr Miliband deserves a break

He understands people's problems and has a good grasp of policy detail

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform