News John Lewis at Westfield shopping centre

John Lewis has decided against closing its final salary pension scheme, leaving it as one of the only retailers in the country that still offers new staff the gold-plated retirement payouts more commonly associated with politicians and civil servants.

Caroline Flint, the shadow Energy Secretary

Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint accuses the 'big six' energy firms of over-charging

Caroline Flint, the shadow Energy Secretary, threw down the gauntlet to the big six energy companies yesterday, accusing them of over-charging customers and challenging them to close down their retail arms if they were unhappy with their profits.

Supporters of Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hold his posters in Tahrir square in Cairo, on the third anniversary of Egypt's uprising

BG Group shares plunge after Egypt turmoil hits profits

Egypt accounts for nearly a fifth of group's production

The rise in the cost of groceries has contributed to the rise in people using food banks, such as this one in Poplar

Britain ‘put profits of banks ahead of EU curbs on food speculators’

The Government has been accused of protecting corporate profits at the expense of the world’s poorest people by trying to block European Union reforms to curb food speculation.

A volunteer puts together a parcel of food at a Food Bank in Brixton, south London

UK ‘has some of the highest and most volatile food prices’, claims Oxfam

Britons face some of the highest and most volatile food prices in Western Europe, according to research published today.

The biggest contribution to the fall in the inflation rate came from a decline in the price of groceries

Fall in inflation fuels hopes of rise in living standards

Pay increases now more likely to outstrip cost of living growth as CPI rate sinks to 2 per cent

Inflation fell to the Bank of England's target of 2 per cent for the first time in over four years in December.

Inflation hits Bank of England's target of 2% in December

CPI rate fell to 2 per cent in December for the first time in over four years

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney

Bank of England to hold interest rates at record lows

The Bank of England will hold interest rates at record lows once more today, amid speculation it will have to change the threshold for considering a hike in the cost of borrowing within months.

Sales on Oxford Street in the run-up to Christmas reveal retailers' worries

Shop inflation hits record low after Christmas discounts

Shop prices fell at their fastest rate on record in December, in a sign of intense competition on the high street over the crucial Christmas trading period.

Electricity pylons in the Languedoc, France in Villejust, near Paris

Exclusive: A giant European network of electricity interconnectors is solution to high energy prices, says climate change minister

Ed Davey believes a continent-wide network of underground electricity cables could slash bills

The increase means fares are rising three times faster than wages for many commuters

Rail fare rises: Commuters take a hit as ticket prices increase three times faster than wages

Campaigners have used the latest price increase to warn that by 2018 the Government will be 'making a profit from passengers'

A pre-election rate hike could actually improve David Cameron's chances of staying in Downing Street, rather than damaging them, as has been widely thought.

Interest rate rise would make more people 'better off', poll finds - and could help David Cameron to stay in Downing Street

More people believe they would be helped than harmed by a rise in interest rates, according to a new survey.

UK inflation falls to a 4-year low at 2.1% in November

The lowest inflation for four years added to the UK’s economic purple patch yesterday, following strong quarterly growth and and declining unemployment in boosting the nation’s recovery prospects next year.

Half of UK firms expect to create jobs next year, according to CBI report

More than half of the UK’s businesses expect to create new jobs over the next year, though real wages will continue to fall, a new report has found.

The music video for Ylvis's

'The Fox' goes viral again, this time as a Christmas light show

Jay Perkins's festive rendition of the YouTube hit has attracted over 250,000 views in just two days

Carney is learning fast after his less than happy start

The governor is taking a judgement about the appropriate level of the price of a major asset class

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there