Voices

Both sides know that the top rate of income tax is mainly symbolic

Portugal increases higher tax rates

The Portuguese government plans to introduce temporary extra tax rates for high-earning companies and households to help to meet budget-deficit goals under its €78bn (£69bn) bailout, its Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said yesterday.

Leading article: An idea worth exploring

The Tory party in the 19th century was pre-eminently the party of those in possession of a good many rolling acres. Matters have evolved since then but it is still not surprising that the party once led by Disraeli and Lord Salisbury is reluctant to countenance even for a second the Liberal Democrat proposal for a new tax on land. The very phrase "land tax" does indeed have an old-fashioned socialist whiff about it, bringing back memories of the Labour programme of 1945. But it would be a shame if that were to become an excuse to dump the idea without even considering it.

Consumer rights: I need a tenant but want to avoid lettings agents

Renting out a property involves a multitude of time-consuming duties. If you are short of time and confidence it can pay to bring in the professionals

Cut VAT, not top tax rate, Labour urges Tories

Labour last night called on George Osborne to consider a temporary VAT cut to stimulate the economy – rather than scrapping the 50p tax rate.

Leading article: A lever that the Chancellor would be unwise to pull

However it is dressed up, a tax cut for the wealthy is still a tax cut for the wealthy

Osborne plans to cut 50p income tax rate

David Cameron and George Osborne are discussing plans to cut the 50p rate of income tax after being told that it is generating only marginal returns for the Exchequer.

Coalition splits emerge over 50p top rate of tax

A Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister stoked up Coalition tensions yesterday as he ridiculed calls from the Tory Right to scrap the 50p top rate of income tax for the highest earners as "cloud cuckoo land".

Guru Sai Baba's legacy: Death threats and scandal

The passing of the Indian holy man has left a spiritual hole and an even bigger controversy. Andrew Buncombe reports on the struggle to regulate his earthly affairs

David Prosser: A VAT cut is worth it – even for those who worry about the deficit

Outlook For those who believe the deficit is the absolute priority for economic policymakers, the call by Ed Balls yesterday for a temporary cut in VAT was never going to play well. Predictably enough, within hours both David Cameron and Nick Clegg were rubbishing the proposal in terms with which we are all now familiar – "maxing out the nation's credit card" and so on.

Salmond rises in Scottish poll as opponents flounder

After four years in power, the SNP looksset to make gains

Government hits back at financial squeeze claims

The Government today hit back at claims that families were facing a financial squeeze as a result of Chancellor George Osborne's tax and benefits changes, insisting the overwhelming majority of households would be better off.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails &amp; online postings (27 March 2011)

The Budget was yet another blow to women. Lone parents and single female pensioners, already among the poorest citizens in Britain today, will suffer most from the Chancellor's harsh cuts to public spending. By 2014/5 the average household will lose public services worth 6.85 per cent of their cash income; for single female pensioners that figure is 11.7 per cent; for lone parents it is a whopping 18.5 per cent. This Budget did nothing to put that right. Even its small concessions to income-tax payers and motorists will help women less than men, since fewer women pay income tax or own cars.

Pensions: Simpler format marks a 'turning point' in benefit

A flat-rate pension that will pay about £140 a week will be simpler and most likely benefit women, many of whom are currently denied the full state pension after taking time out of work to look after children.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Career Services

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
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices