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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness