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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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick