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Smooth Ken silences the beastly snarls

`One by one the Europhobic big cats slunk off, puzzled, to work out why they hadn't eaten'

BUDGET 1996: Real tax rise will be at least 2.5p

Tax increases already planned by the Government, and due to be confirmed in today's Budget, will be equivalent to more than 1p on the basic rate of income tax next year and more than 2.5p in 1998/99.

THE BUDGET: A briefcase full of hollow words

Promises promises ... that's what Chancellors of the Exchequer make on Budget day, and on Tuesday Kenneth Clarke will be no exception.

YESTERDAY AT THE CONFERENCE

MAIN ANNOUNCEMENTS

Heath returns fire against Euro-sceptics

The currency battle: Opponents seize on hint by Rifkind that Britain would reject any fudge over terms of monetary union

Boom turns to bust as the yuppie years come to an end

One task of the financial section of a newspaper is to pick out the big forces influencing the economy before everyone else, to be - as the jargon of the markets would have it - ahead of the curve. As it happened the 18 months from November 1989 to June 1991 when I was editing these pages coincided with the first stage of the early 1990s recession. It saw the shift from slowing growth to something close to despair: the time when it seemed the recession would never end. So I suppose the first test is whether we, as a paper, were indeed ahead of the curve, whether we picked up the danger signals in time.

Greer plays host at Tory conference Sleaze and Euro spoil Tory party

Tory Euro-sceptics are threatening to re-open the wounds over the European single currency at next week's party conference.

MPs protest their innocence over cash

Members give their side of the story over lobbyist's money. Report by JoJo Moyes and Ian Burrell

Hamilton admits taking money

List grows of MPs who received received payments from parliamentary lobbyist

Alas! poor Julian, his jokes are beginning to wear as thin as a moth-eaten party frock. By Jasper Rees

TELEVISION: All Rise for Julian Clary, Friday, BBC2

From off cum'd 'un to Dalesman in only 21 years

News from Elsewhere

A steady diet of carnage and canapes

FRINGE DIARY

Want a ride on the gravy train? Read on

Dear Mr Reader: Congratulations on embarking on the prize trail! Yes, it's true! Simply by buying this issue of the Independent newspaper, you have been selected as one of the finalists in a great competition in which you could win a total cash prize of anything between pounds 1 and pounds 500,000! And the number you have been allocated is: 29857462354192939 94858969/98

Wednesday's men plot their coup

LEGAL NOTE: Legal Message - Legal complaint by Norman Lamont. Please refer to Legal Manager on 2603.

COLIN BROWN and JOHN RENTOUL
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