News

Outlook Raise a glass to Greene King. The pub and restaurant group reported a sparkling 5 per cent increase in sales over Christmas. But fill it with Cava rather than Champagne.

Parliament: Devolution: Brown attempts to strengthen the Union

GORDON BROWN made the Government's most spirited attempt since Scottish devolution to bolster the Union yesterday by announcing a series of joint north-south committees to co-ordinate social and high technology policies.

Watchdog demands transport spending

THE GOVERNMENT'S new transport watchdog began its life yesterday by cocking a snook at the Chancellor of the Exchequer and demanding a ``dramatic'' increase in spending to rid Britain of traffic congestion.

Benefit plan unveiled by Chancellor

NO ONE in work will ever have to visit a benefits office to receive a living income, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said yesterday as he unveiled plans for reform of the tax and benefit system.

Budget: Inheritance/Capital Gains Tax

EACH YEAR, reports of the widespread reform of inheritance and capital gains tax prove much exaggerated and this year was no exception - if anything, the reverse.

Political broadcast by the Best Friends' Party

THE PRIME MINISTER and the Chancellor of the Exchequer made broadcasting history yesterday by being interviewed together on the radio.

Budget day set for 9 March

BUDGET DAY will be on Tuesday 9 March, it was announced yesterday. Responding to questions in the House of Commons, Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, named the day for his third Budget statement and said the government would continue to be disciplined on public spending.

The inheritance hunters

When the wealthy die intestate, it is often the start of some far-reaching investigations. By Paul Slade

GRE injects pounds 300m into PPP in life insurance shake-up

GUARDIAN ROYAL Exchange announced a sweeping restructuring of its life insurance business yesterday in response to months of pressure from the City.

Brown defies critics of forecast

GORDON BROWN, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has defended his economic forecasts, insisting the economy will slow slightly next year and then recover quickly.

Theatre: Love's Labour's lost

UGLY RUMOURS TRICYCLE THEATRE

Directors earn `pounds 3,100 a meeting'

THE CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer Gordon Brown came under fire yesterday from the TUC for urging pay restraint at a time when company directors were awarding themselves rises of 18 per cent compared with 4.5 per cent for the whole workforce. Calls for wage restraint needed to be aimed at a "closed shop" of directors who voted each other "huge" pay increases, and not at other employees, a study by the TUC argued.

Letter: Backing the Bank

Sir: Your front page story "Rate cut is `too little, too late' " (9 October) repeats the totally false allegation that the Chancellor was involved in a "covert campaign" to "bounce" the Bank of England to cut rates. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are those, including some in the media, who were opposed to the Bank's independence from the outset and want to undermine that independence by whatever means they can. I assume that was also what lay behind your inside commentary. I can't imagine who your reporter spoke to but it certainly was not me as I have never even met him. This fanciful account contains so many inaccuracies that it is not even worth responding to them.

Leading Article: A big pot of money

POOH WOULD have been amused, Christopher Robin confused and AA Milne would have been appalled. He, poor author, wanted simply to leave something to the Garrick Club which he loved. The members of a club now dominated by the law and media felt they needed to do something under the full glare of media attention with a bequest which had suddenly become valuable. That something has turned out to be to give much of it to charity, which is certainly worthier than sharing it out among the members, as one former Chancellor of the Exchequer had suggested, and is certainly more satisfying to the committee charged with doling out the lolly.

Leading Article: Brown grasps at the holy grail

THE GOLDEN RULE. Sounds mystical, doesn't it? It is the grail that successive Chancellors have grasped at but never quite managed to attain. Put simply, it says that a prudent government, like a wise individual or company, should never borrow to consume, but only to invest. Gordon Brown is the latest politician to seek the grail. He believes that it is the key to sound public finances and the best guarantee for the future of our public services. He is right, and he deserves our support.

Politics: Brown: Budget will be no giveaway

GORDON BROWN yesterday damped down expectations that he was about to embark on a spending spree Budget, with billions of pounds being contributed to working families' childcare costs.
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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
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices