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
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
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
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
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
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
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
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