Voices

If you pay £6 to go to Prague on RyanAir, what do you expect?

Britain's recovery driven by spending, not trade

ONS shows unbalanced growth, as consumer confidence rises to highest level since 2007

The Business Matrix: Thursday 26 September 2013

Baby boom helps Cussons profits

'Britain is being ripped off over rural broadband': BT handed £1.2bn ‘subsidy’ from the taxpayer

British Telecom has been handed a taxpayer “subsidy” of almost £1.2bn because the Government “mismanaged” its superfast broadband.

Consumer confidence on rise

Fresh signs of the UK’s improving economic health emerged today as a consumer confidence index hit a new high.

Industry backs demand for 24-hour energy firm switch

The energy industry has today been challenged to follow the lead set by the telecoms and banking sectors and speed-up the switching process.

According to the Trussell Trust, the number of people who need food banks like this one has risen by 200 per cent

One in three Britons struggling to feed themselves

A Which? survey out today reveals that rising grocery bills are causing real hardship

Retail sales fall as hard-hit shoppers rein in spending

Britons eased back on the barbecues last month after a glorious July, sending retail sales skidding lower for the first time since April today.

New iPhone apps read blood alcohol levels and hail taxis

Simple to use breathalyser gadgets will help combat drink driving

Kingfisher weathers the ups and downs with rise in sales

Swinging from the coldest March for 50 years to the hottest July since 2006, Ian Cheshire, chief executive of B&Q owner Kingfisher, could not resist calling the first six months of its financial year “a game of two quarters.”

Why don't people switch their mortgages?

Money savings rather than better service more likely to tempt those considering a change

LA Fitness and Dave Whelan Sports improve gym contracts after OFT investigation

Two of Britain's biggeset gym chains today agreed to make their contracts clearer and give customers more rights to cancel their membership, after an investigation by the consumer watchdog the Office of Fair Trading.

Watchdog warns of mobile dangers

People using mobile-banking services to transfer cash are risking making mistakes, the City watchdog has warned.

Revealed: Two-thirds of UK adults have had unwanted PPI calls

One in four people received their most recent call during a family meal

Potential dangers for consumers using mobile banking highlighted

More than a billion people are expected to use their mobile phones for banking services worldwide by the end of 2017

OFT investigates Carpetright and rivals over ‘misleading’ promotions

The floor-covering specialist Carpetright said it is “co-operating fully” with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over the watchdog’s investigation into “misleading” sales practices of furniture, carpet and bed chains yesterday.

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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 15 May 2015
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada