News Iain Duncan Smith blamed civil servants for not giving him the full picture of teething problems of universal credit

Iain Duncan Smith has suggested being on benefits is a form of slavery and he is like abolitionist William Wilberforce through his introduction of welfare reforms.

'Grant Shapps’ children share a bedroom because he needs the other rooms for his online aliases'

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps rebuked over benefit error

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has been rebuked by the UK's statistics watchdog for wrongly claiming that nearly one million people on incapacity benefit (IB) had dropped their claims rather than face medical checks.

Chancellor George Osborne still needs to tackle £8bn black hole after treasury agrees 10% spending cuts with seven Government departments

These departments only account for around 20 per cent of the cuts George Osborne needs to make

Matthew Norman on Monday: Melanie Philips shone a torch on darkness and revealed herself

Ms Phillips found mirth in the aftermath of Woolwich. Plus, let's hope the Commons treats IDS gently over this statistics snafu

Work Programme 'is giving least help to worst off' and failing single parents

Private companies who win government contracts to help the jobless find work are “parking” some of the most disadvantaged people on benefits, MPs warn today.

The News Matrix: Friday 10 May 2013

Wanted US fugitive built new life in Kent

Iain Duncan Smith criticised for 'unsupported' claims on success of Government welfare reforms

Iain Duncan Smith faced embarrassment after he was chided by the statistics watchdog over claims he made trumpeting the success of a Government key welfare reform.

So far, older people have been relatively unscathed by the Coalition’s cuts
A young boy play's football in a street in Govan

Pay up or watch child poverty get worse, top advisers tell Coalition

Alan Milburn and Baroness Shephard call on Government to ‘put its money where its mouth is’

Benefits cap rolled out in four London boroughs

A cap on the amount of benefits people can receive begins today in a policy that is being trialled in parts of the capital.

Iain Duncan Smith attacked over claims benefit cap is driving jobless to work

Former chief economist at the DWP accuses the former Conservative Party leader of misrepresenting government statistics

Why the poor wear flashier trainers

The affluent give lectures on frugality while knowing nothing of the misery of deprivation. Plus: Paul Raymond, and obliging stereotypes
In February Iain Duncan Smith drafted in one of the Government’s most experienced trouble-shooters to take charge of the programme - which has now been delayed again

Not so Universal Credit: Government puts the brakes on trials of its controversial new benefits programme

Ministers tonight significantly scaled back plans to begin piloting their controversial universal credit programme next month amid fears that the scheme is behind schedule and facing major problems.

Editorial: Enforce the minimum wage to make work pay

It was Bill Clinton who, as US President, summed up what he called the old idea of the American Dream that “if you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to have a decent life”. But that sentiment applies not only to America and not just to a dream. It should be the guiding principle of any government worth the name.

The Trussell Trust has launched an appeal for donations to help it cope with the rising number of people relying on food banks

Austerity on the menu: food bank needs £1m to meet increased demand caused by 'Iain Duncan-Smith's welfare reforms'

Explosion in numbers dependent on hand-outs from 29,000 in 2009-10 to nearly 300,000 in 2012-13

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there