Voices

Despite overwhelming evidence there is still continuing reluctance from politicians to accept just how useless short prison sentences are

Escape-proof policies keep profits secure

Endowment mortgages may be under fire at the moment but other with- profits investments do have their uses. If you are looking for a very long-term savings plan, and can find a way to avoid the high charges levied by insurance salespeople and financial advisers, an old-fashioned insurance company savings scheme might suit you, especially if you don't want to take too many risks.

`Personal Finance: The important thing for endowment holders is, as the FSA stressed this week: Don't panic'

LIKE SHOULDER-PADDED suits and Rick Astley, endowment mortgages were hugely popular in the 1980s but are now almost universally reviled. As interest rates and inflation have fallen to 30 year lows, there are fears that many endowment policies will not grow fast enough to pay off the home loans they are linked to.

Outlook: Judge opts for equitable solution

THE ROYAL Courts of Justice on the Strand are generally not noted for their common sense, but in deciding in favour of Equitable Life against a surprisingly determined, sprightly and vociferous bunch of aggrieved pensioners, the vice chancellor, Sir Richard Scott, has blown away the cobwebs and arrived at a judgement which seems to be right both in law and in principle.

Outlook: Sir David struggles with City sceptics

NATWEST'S PROPOSED pounds 10.7bn acquisition of Legal & General got a surprisingly lukewarm reception in the City yesterday for what, on the face of it, seems a logical and well thought out deal. Why is this?

BARGAINS OF THE WEEK: FINANCE

DEAL OF THE WEEK

Defiant IRA hints at an end to ceasefire

THE IRA issued a thinly veiled threat last night to end its ceasefire if the Unionists continue their demands for a "surrender" without delivering a share of power in Ulster to Sinn Fein.

The IRA Statement

"THE ARGUMENT that the present political process can deliver real and meaningful change has been significantly undermined by the course of events over the past 15 months.

Victim used life savings to fight case

PAMELA COUGHLAN used her life savings to fight the case and was granted legal aid only when they ran out. They were drawn mainly from the pounds 70,000 damages she was awarded after a car accident in 1971, which left her paralysed from the waist down.

DEAL OF THE WEEK

FINANCE

Dutch insurer Aegon mulls a bid for Scottish Widows

AEGON, THE giant Dutch insurer which owns Scottish Equitable is considering stepping in with a counter-bid for the pounds 7bn agreed for Lloyds TSB to take over Scottish Widows on Wednesday.

Lloyds plans more deals after Widows takeover

Chairman sets sights on further, bigger acquisitions Lloyds-TSB becomes UK's second- largest provider of long-term savings Scottish Widows policy holders to receive average pounds 6,000 windfalls

Parliament: The Sketch: Foxes lament official failure to make hen-houses secure

AS REBELLIONS go, it was a very courteous affair. Iain Duncan Smith, speaking to the guillotine motion that began proceedings (and which allowed Tories to indulge in the perverse satisfaction of taking up time complaining that they weren't being given enough time) had popped across the Channel to bring back an analogy for the skulduggery of the Government.

It's time to consider an unpopular option

Investment trusts are out of favour but good value, writes Tony Lyons

Briefing

BCCI man's appeal turned down
Career Services

Day In a Page

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 30 January 2015
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