Voices Little security: rents are the biggest factor in the cost of living crisis

If we don't like rich landlords then we can raise taxes on the rich generally, but it will be a brave politician who suggests it

Britain's economy 'growing at fastest pace since 2007' crash, says CBI

Britain's economic output grew at its fastest pace in January since September 2007, the Confederation of British Industry said today

Paved with gold: London's economy is thriving

Could London become a separate city state?

Thanks to its relatively rude financial health, London is a city apart from the rest of the UK. But could it make it as a country in its own right? Sean O'Grady investigates

Big numbers of young adults move to London from other cities and never return home

UK regions hit by brain drain: Exodus of talent to London adds to fears that recovery is geographically skewed

For Britain to prosper, cities must prosper. They are engines of growth

The IMF estimated in October the GPD growth would be 1.9 per cent for 2014, however it is expected to change that estimate to 2.4 per cent; These numbers would be seen by the Chancellor as a vindication

Relief for Osborne as IMF expects UK growth to hit highest rate in three years

The International Monetary Fund is expected to raise its estimate of growth in the UK economy tomorrow, in figures that will be seized upon by George Osborne, the Chancellor.

Vince Cable faces political battering as Royal Mail mulls Moya Greene pay rise

Vince Cable was potentially heading towards another political battering over the flotation of Royal Mail today as the chairman said it should give its chief executive a pay rise beyond her present £1.25 million package.

Under the Government’s health reforms, any qualified provider can bid for NHS services that are put out to tender by commissioners

Two thirds of contracts for NHS services in England awarded in the last eight months have gone to the private sector

Labour has accused the Government of allowing the private sector to “cherry-pick” successful NHS services after a survey revealed NHS contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds had gone to private companies since the Coalition's health reforms. 

Tories plan ‘shock treatment’ to win over the low-paid

Strong criticism echoes campaign by Miliband for an end to the political consensus on the economy since the Thatcher era

MoD in new retreat over bid to enrol big business

Attempts by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to reform the Ministry of Defence by enlisting big businesses for their commercial skills have again been struck by a lack of private sector interest.

London has come top in a study of the world's most expensive cities to live in.

London comes top in study of the world's most expensive cities to live in

Factors including rent and travel take their toll on the pockets of Londoners

A Serco van used to transport defenders. Serco has also come under fire for overcharging taxpayers

Exclusive: No privatised lie detector tests for sex offenders following outsourcing scandals involving G4S and Serco

Decision to scrap outsourcing of controversial polygraph tests is latest blow to Government's privatisation plans following scandals involving G4S and Serco

Crisis? What crisis? Just ask the ever-growing numbers of UK and overseas nationals being forced to sleep rough

I thought Thatcher’s cardboard box city of rough sleepers outside Waterloo station had gone forever

Surveys show that 90 per cent of us support the principle of donation – but yet only a third bother to join the register

How organ donation is getting nudge in the right direction: trial could pave way for 100,000 extra donors each year

People were most receptive to messages that appeared to affect them personally, rather than peer pressure

‘Gruelling’ interrogation led to nuclear boss’s gaffe

The boss of the Sellafield nuclear site has blamed a “long and gruelling” cross-examination for providing MPs with inaccurate information.

The reliance on an inheritance means that wealth is likely to remain in the same families

Children of '60s and '70s will be worse off than their parents when they retire

Only those who get an inheritance will enjoy better living standards

Inside Whitehall: With more cuts looming, every department must get its finances in order… at long last

Less than half of those in Whitehall finance have an accountancy qualification

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'