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

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
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015