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.

Changes on pensioner benefits to be agreed before next elections

Tories plan to axe pensioners' benefits

Manifesto may target winter fuel, bus passes and prescriptions

A high proportion of businesses say that job-seekers lack basic literacy and numeracy

Fact File: Welfare Reform

Once the envy of the world, the British welfare system is no longer a unifying source of national pride. Instead it has become – depending on your point of view – the subject of much-needed reform or the victim of merciless cuts.

Steve Richards: David Cameron is just after a quick hit in the polls

He gives a clue that he is seeking to trap Labour into being the party that stands up for benefit cheats

The old get richer, and the young get poorer

Over-65s proportionally better off than at any time since 1997 – while under-30s bear brunt of recession

Iain Duncan Smith, has been accused of 'moving the goalposts'

Child poverty falls, but targets set to change

Minister accused of 'moving the goalposts' with plans to redefine poverty measures

Poverty measuring change to be announced by Iain Duncan Smith

The Government is to draw up plans to change the way poverty is measured in a move that will trigger claims that it is trying to mask a rise in the number of poor families.

Prime Minister Cameron's aides say he cannot avoid speaking out

Handouts for pensioners under fresh scrutiny from Coalition

Senior Coalition figures are being forced for the first time to ponder trimming hand-outs to the over-65s.

Pensioners' benefits under scrutiny for more cuts

Pensioners' entitlement to benefits such as the winter fuel allowance, bus passes and free prescriptions are coming under fresh scrutiny as ministers hunt for new ways of cutting spending.

David Cameron 'will protect OAP benefits'

Prime Minister David Cameron is committed to protecting pensioners' entitlements to benefits such as the winter fuel allowance and free prescriptions, eye-tests and bus travel in their current form, Downing Street said today.

New single welfare benefit to be rolled out six months earlier than planned

The new single welfare benefit is to be introduced six months earlier than planned, with claimants in the North West experiencing it first from April next year.

A spokesman for the Royal National Institute for the Blind said that the reform proposals 'risk leaving many without the support they need to live independently'

Fury as blind people hit by benefit reform

Lib Dems threaten revolt unless Government does U-turn

Amputees could lose disability benefits

Amputees, including wounded soldiers, could be among half a million people to lose their disability benefits under government reforms, the Work and Pensions Secretary has warned.

Rebekah Brooks' meetings with party leaders: the list

This is the list of meetings with prime ministers handed to the Leveson Inquiry by Rebekah Brooks.

David Cameron: As PM he earns £142,500 but he also rents out his former home for up to £70,000. The tax changes are likely to save him £3,000 - £5,000 a year

PM blocked plans to means-test winter fuel aid for over-60s

David Cameron blocked plans to cut the winter fuel payments for better-off pensioners in the Budget, i has learned. Some Conservative MPs believe that means-testing the £2.1bn fuel payments given to the over-60s would have been less controversial than George Osborne's surprise decision to freeze the special tax allowances for pensioners – dubbed a "granny tax".

The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee