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

Chief Executive of the RBS Stephen Hester warned it could take up to a decade for the taxpayer to recoup its £45 billion stake in the bank

Outgoing RBS boss Stephen Hester: taxpayer won't recoup bail-out money for another decade

Hester says he's 'comfortable' with his departure, announced for later this year

Parliamentary Standards Commission makes call to get tough with the bankers

Group demands fines and bans for those who behave negligently

Ben Chu: Water, water everywhere – but where is there any benefit for customers?

Outlook The City's mouth is watering. A takeover bid for Severn Trent from a consortium of pension funds and a sovereign wealth pot is stimulating juices in the Square Mile. Large fees for investment banks and, naturally, profits for speculators are in prospect if the £5bn-odd approach to buy the water company, which unveiled its full-year results yesterday, is successful. The other two other listed water utilities could also soon be in play too, slather the bulls.

Goldmans and UBS are set to steer the listing of Royal Mail

Goldman Sachs and UBS have been chosen to oversee the planned flotation of the Royal Mail later this year.

Simon English: Politics will decide Royal Mail float price

Outlook Royal Mail plumped itself up for joining the stock market yesterday with some flashy looking operating profits.

James Ashton: Let's see Parker pack his bags and go postal

Tim Parker tried to convince me he was staying put when he breezed into my office this week, but I still suspect it won’t be long before the private equity world’s favourite boss has found something new to occupy his mind.

Chancellor George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, outside the Treasury

The great Civil Service sell-off: Dozens of services and 75,000 staff set to be transferred to private sector

Unions denounce sale as ‘privatisation by stealth’

A crowd of supporters gathers outside Brighton Magistrates' Court

Occupy Sussex students plead not guilty

Four students pleaded not guilty today at Brighton Magistrates Court to charges related to protests that took place at the University of Sussex up to three weeks ago.

Network Rail's debt ratchets up running costs

The burden of Network Rail's £28bn debt pile means that 13 per cent of the cost of running the railways is taken up in loan repayments, according to the industry regulator.

Sir Jeremy Heywood, head of Britain’s civil service

MPs attack top civil servants over Thatcher tribute

Head mandarins praised Lady Thatcher as the 'best kind of boss'

The cafe occupied on Tuesday

Occupy Sussex defies injunction to continue cuts protest

Students and staff banned from protesting at the University of Sussex defied the injunction and occupied a campus café yesterday.

Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Ed Miliband all attended the emergency recall of Parliament

Furious Tories jeer as Labour MPs condemn impact of Margaret Thatcher's policies in Parliamentary 'tributes' session

A show of unity by the three main political parties over Margaret Thatcher since her death on Monday ended when Labour MPs launched strong attacks on her record during Commons tributes to her yesterday.

A friend of the City: Margaret Thatcher's impact on London's financial centre praised

City traders, economists and commentators praised Margaret Thatcher today for reforming London’s financial centre and turning it into an engine of the economy and the envy of the world.

So where were you when you heard Lady Thatcher had died? Lady who?

“Her shadow is very long,” someone said on the Huw Edwards special which took over the afternoon schedules – and if you’d been watching the rolling news coverage since the announcement of Baroness Thatcher’s death, you would have felt every inch of it.

The Highways Agency’s South-east base in Godstone, Surrey

George Osborne takes first step on road to privatising Britain's highways

The Government risks angering trades unions with plans to commercialise the running and repair of Britain's core roads network, a move likely to lead to full privatisation.

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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: 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
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
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
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
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