News Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond presents the White Paper for Scottish independence

Scotland's First Minister will have face-to-face talks with the latest Bank of England governor for the first time

Jimmy Carr: In response to a public backlash­, the comedian pulled out of a scheme to cut his tax bill

Loopholes cost HMRC £5bn a year, say MPs

The accountants and lawyers behind sophisticated tax-avoidance schemes, such as that once used by the comedian Jimmy Carr, are "running rings" around HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), MPs warned last night.

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has embarked on a huge programme of monetary and fiscal stimulus to jump start the world's third largest economy out of its third recession in five years

G20 summit to focus on 'currency war' threat to economy

Tension builds over Japan's efforts to drive down yen, but ministers resist crackdown

Anthony Hilton: Flawed plan to rebuild Britain with no money

The Government wants the private sector to finance the huge costs of nuclear power stations and hopes French company EDF will shortly kick off its new build.

London Mayor Boris Johnson ambushed Nick Clegg's radio show

'Hi Nick, it's Boris here' - London Mayor calls Nick Clegg's radio show to demand ministers get out of 'their posh limos'

London Mayor Boris Johnson ambushed Nick Clegg's radio show today urging him to get his Cabinet colleagues "out of their posh limos" and on to public transport.

Larry, Downing Street's ratcatcher, has yet to make his first kill

Being poor isn’t hard – skin the cat and make a cosy hat!

The Department for Making The Poor Poorer has been very busy recently

Top accountancy firms accused of exploiting tax laws they helped to draft

Britain’s largest accountancy firms help the Treasury draft financial legislation which they then use to help their clients evade tax, it was revealed today.

Osborne 'only needs one Budget a year'

George Osborne should stop making major tax and spending announcements in the Autumn Statement, the Treasury Select Committee will argue in a new report today. "The Autumn Statement is not, nor should it be, a second Budget. In recent years it has come to read like one", argues committee chairman Andrew Tyrie. "The case for two Budgets is weak. An additional one can create uncertainty and carries an economic cost. Only in an emergency would it be likely to carry long-term benefit."

Canada seeks 'new Carney'

Canada is looking for someone "like Mark Carney" to replace him when he becomes Governor of the Bank of England in June.

Christine Lagarde is being investigated for alleged abuse of public office and “embezzlement” when she was French Finance Minister

IMF chief, Christine Lagarde, is investigated over compensation paid to tycoon

French anti-fraud police have raided the home of a former close associate of the International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde as part of an investigation into alleged abuse of public office and “embezzlement” when she was French Finance Minister in 2008.

UK growth prospects appear sombre, says World Bank

The World Bank raised the alarm over the UK's "sombre" prospects today as it took an axe to growth forecasts.

Sir Mervyn King: The Governor of the Bank of England was warned in August 2007, a month before everyone else, that Northern Rock had serious problems, but did nothing to prevent the first run on a British bank in decades. He then 'panicked', according to angry MPs, yet stayed in his job and last year picked up a knighthood.

Bank of England boss Sir Mervyn King slates bank bonus tax move

Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King today said it would be “depressing” if bankers choose to defer their bonuses until after the introduction of the new 45p income tax rate.

Whitehall blasts new tests as 'simplistic'

Civil servants have hit out at "simplistic tick-boxing" exercises they have been forced to carry out in the wake of Sam Laidlaw's report into the West Coast Mainline fiasco.

Relief for pensioners and savers

Relief for pensioners as changes ruled out for inflation measure

Pensioners were given some welcome news today after the UK's top statistician said a key measure of inflation linked to retirement income and a raft of other investments and services should remain unchanged.

German Chancellors are not paid enough, says Merkel's rival

Peer Steinbrück ignites row over 'low pay' and the incumbent's 'bonus' of being a woman
Treasury minister David Gauke has claimed it is morally wrong to pay tradesmen in cash

Odd job UK: booming black market economy is propping up jobs figures

The “jobs enigma” of 2012, that saw unemployment fall despite the gloomy economic outlook, is likely to continue next year, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans