News Ed Balls denied the claim that he would go beyond a 50p top tax rate

Ed Balls has vowed to increase the top tax rate for high earners to 50p

Debate: Russell Brand has called David Cameron a ‘filthy, dirty, posh w****r’. Has he gone too far?

Russell Brand has elbowed his way back into the headlines with a controversial appearance on Alan Carr's Chatty Man show, to be broadcast on Friday.

The News Matrix: Tuesday 8 October 2013

Fast return expected from Royal Mail

David Cameron at the G20 summit

Panel discussion with Steve Richards... How do the Conservatives win the next General Election?

The Conservative conference begins this weekend and with it continues The Independent's series of fringe meetings sponsored by the RSA Group. After interviewing Vince Cable and Ed Balls in the previous two events, our political columnist Steve Richards will be chairing a panel discussion, featuring the Conservative MP Michael Fallon, columnist and former David Cameron speech-writer Ian Birrell, and journalist Anne McElvoy, on the topic of what the Tories can do to assure electoral victory in 2015.

Britain's recovery driven by spending, not trade

ONS shows unbalanced growth, as consumer confidence rises to highest level since 2007
Ed Balls makes his speech to the Labour party's annual conference

Ed Balls speech at the Labour Conference: Key points and reaction, from HS2 to family care

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, who will be interviewed by our political columnist Steve Richards this afternoon, addressed the Labour party conference in Brighton this morning. Here are some of the key points from the speech, alongside the media response

Labour Party conference: Future of HS2 in doubt as Ed Balls warns of veto

Announcement marks a significant change of policy

James Moore: Lloyds sale could stand alone without these silly accounting tricks

Outlook On the face of it, yesterday's sale of Lloyds shares was an unalloyed success, perhaps beginning the final chapter of the financial crisis.

House-price bubble fears over 95% mortgages

The Government came under fire this week for backing 95 per cent loan-to-value mortgages.

'Hubris and complacency': Ed Miliband accuses David Cameron of over economy and living standards

Labour leader says the Coalition had presided over the slowest recovery in 100 years

Chris Blackhurst: It's time we paid attention to Nev and his call centre, not the huge corporations

Midweek View: Small businesses account for half our national income and two-thirds of all employment
George Osborne is set to deliver his most upbeat economic assessment yet

Told you so: George Osborne says new figures show economy is turning corner and that he has proved Labour wrong

Chancellor argues that the Government’s strategy has worked, but Miliband will cast it as a ‘recovery for the few’

David Cameron, George Osborne, and Mark Carney arrive at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg

'G20 should be ashamed': Oxfam urges summit to fight global tax avoidance

Charity group tells G20 to get tough on tax-dodging firms

Ben Chu: Builders are part of the problem

Are housebuilders a hindrance rather than a help in solving Britain’s chronic housing shortage?

Academy chain to break Government pay ceiling in bid to lure ‘best teachers’

One of the country’s biggest academy chains is busting the Government’s pay ceiling for public sector workers by offering all its teachers a 1.5 per cent pay rise.

Whitehall ‘less effective’ because of job cuts

More than one-third of civil servants believe the Government is botching its attempt to cut the size of Whitehall by allowing the most talented workers to leave.

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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?