Voices

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

The Government will publish a 'rail command paper' today

Steve Richards: Bus fares and gas bills now decide votes

Prices are political. On one level this is a statement of the obvious. Of course the price of goods or services is political. Voters get worried or angry about how much things cost. Leaders who want to win elections must take note. Except that for the past three decades, the price of things is not something voters have got especially worked up about.

Ken Livingstone shows his emotions as he watches Labour's mayoral video with Ed Miliband

Tears in his eyes – but will Ken the 'underdog' have last laugh?

Andy McSmith sees Livingstone, the London Mayor's main rival, launch his campaign

Andrew Martin: Please let the French run our railways in future

Brace yourself for some business news. A company called Keolis is bidding for the InterCity West Coast rail franchise, currently operated by Virgin. Keolis is majority-owned by the French state rail operator SNCF, and it is thought the bid might herald a pitch by the same company to run the London-Birmingham High Speed Two line when that is completed.

Andrew Martin: I'd let the French run our trains

Their approach to railways is at once hard-headed and romantic

Small Talk: Seed scheme wins high praise – but there's still a downside

"If the investment doubles in value, your tax-free profit represents a gain of more than 800 per cent"

Osborne backs tax 'transparency'

A US-style system of top politicians' tax returns being published could be considered in the UK, George Osborne indicated as the issue of personal finances continued to dominate the London mayoral race.

London mayoral hopefuls Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone locked in tax row

A bitter row over candidates' tax affairs was centre stage once again in the fight to be London mayor today as rivals clashed over publication of details of their personal finances.

Diary: Where have all the top-rate taxpayers with 10 kids gone?

When George Osborne announced that he was abolishing child benefit payment for higher earners back in October, he told the Conservative annual conference: "A system that taxes working people at high rates only to give it back in child benefit is very difficult to justify."

Banks to delay bonuses until April to avoid 50p income tax rate next year

Banks are looking at delaying payments of banker bonuses to take advantage of the new 45p tax band announced in the Budget.

Labour leader Ed Miliband and his Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls yesterday gave a pre-Budget speech during which they urged the Chancellor to cut pensions tax relief on the rich to defuse a ‘time bomb’ for low-income families

Matthew Norman: Ed Balls is a gift to this Government

He is the only politician who can make George Osborne look cuddly

John Rentoul: What on earth was Osborne thinking?

The granny tax may have been an oversight, but the 50p tax cut was quite deliberate – and a more serious mistake

Rich to rule in Osborne's new tax regime

The Budget was a blizzard of policies and statistics, but what does it really mean? Pensioners, look away now...

Jeff Romeo, pictured with his wife and children

Child Benefit: Some families still lose out despite welfare climbdown

The threat of losing all child benefit payments was lifted from 750,000 families where at least one parent earns between £42,500 and £60,000.

Ed Miliband condemns top rate tax cut

Labour leader Ed Miliband tore into the Budget today after George Osborne announced plans to cut the top rate of income tax.

Matthew Norman: Labour's tragedy is not its leader – it's the shadow Chancellor

Were Yvette Cooper the opponent, I can't believe Osborne would risk this tax cut braggadocio

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform