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.

The Cabinet Reshuffle: Confidence and praise in two ways of saying farewell

NORMAN LAMONT said in a statement: 'It has been a great privilege to serve my country in successive Conservative governments and for the last two-and-a- half years as Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have always been willing to be judged on my record. I believe the success of the policies I have put in place will become increasingly clear with the passage of time. I do not intend to make any further comment for several weeks and I hope that for once the Press will allow my family some privacy in the weeks ahead.'

Exclusive: Resolute Lamont accuses 'the alibi society'

An unrepentant Norman Lamont has staked out his claim to stay on as Chancellor of the Exchequer through the next Cabinet reshuffle, declaring he had an 'immense amount to do, and my mind is not on any other job'.

Special Report on Peps and Tax Planning: Managers join transfer market: Switching your PEP sometimes makes sense, says Robert Cole

THE THOUGHT of transferring shares held in one personal equity plan to another at first seems pointless.

'Wise men' agree to disagree

THE 'seven wise men' appointed to advise the Chancellor of the Exchequer agree on average with the Treasury that the economy will grow by about 1 per cent this year, but their individual forecasts differ significantly.

Lamont talks up sterling

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the incoming Governor of the Bank of England helped to pull the pound up from a record trading low yesterday by ruling out further cuts in interest rates for the time being, writes Robert Chote.

Tories seek tax increases

NORMAN LAMONT, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was urged by members of the Tory backbench finance committee last night to increase Value Added Tax and other indirect taxes in next month's Budget.

Science Update: Lawson's lament

NIGEL LAWSON, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, has blamed poor advice he received on computing for a decision that helped spark the Eighties housing and credit boom.

Lamont to be criticised over gift

Norman Lamont, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is to face criticism from a powerful cross- party Commons committee over his handling of the pounds 18,414 donation he received to meet legal fees involved in evicting a 'sex therapist' from his London home, writes Nicholas Timmins.

Letter: Treasury man defends his record

THE ASSERTION that the Treasury has been uniquely bad at economic forecasting in recent years is untrue ('The pundit rating: how good are they?', 11 October).

Letter: Doubts of the Tory rank and file

Sir: As a life-long Conservative supporter, I noted with interest - but, sadly, no longer surprise - that, despite the events of recent weeks, Norman Fowler repeatedly asserted on the eve of the Tory party conference that not only was nothing substantially wrong within the party, but it was going to 'fight back'.

Letter: Supporting role

Sir: I am puzzled that there appears to be some speculation about the future of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Since he has the support of the Prime Minister, is not Norman Lamont's position unassailable?

Column Eight: Testing times for directors

Directors of Hill Samuel - there are, remember, more than 100 of them - are undergoing a gruelling programme of psychometric tests lasting four hours ('waste of time and money' is the verdict of one victim). The tests apparently include the kind of sums beloved of the old 11-plus maths exam, as well as comprehension questions. There is also a tricky exercise that involves matching shapes, geared at testing powers of creativity and imagination. This has proved the downfall of many.

The Sterling Crisis: Politicians' words of wisdom on ERM

'People forget that there's nothing that you can do by joining the exchange rate mechanism to avoid fantastic fluctuations in currency . . .' Margaret Thatcher, 22 May 1989.

10 October, 1991: the Chancellor of the Exchequer tells the Conservative Party conference that Britain is on its way out of the recession:

'The green shoots of economic spring are appearing once again. The fruits of our policies are beginning to appear. . . . Soon I will be the first Chancellor in nearly a quarter of a century who will be able to stand before you and say that Britain has lower inflation than Germany.
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