Money

Savers will be offered pensions “with expensive, and confusing fees”, following a dramatic climbdown by the pensions minister, Steve Webb, over charges.

The tuk-tuk has landed

The ability of tuk-tuks to beat the queues makes them the cab of choice from Bangkok to Bombay. But could they be the solution to our congestion, too? Sean O'Grady finds out

Letter: Wilful ignorance

Sir: The Government intends to deprive people in breach of community service orders of social security benefits. This proposal will provoke strong emotions, but those emotions, on both sides, will be based on ignorance. There is an almost total dearth of research on the effects of dis-entitling people to subsistence benefits.

Hughes gets home affairs portfolio

CHARLES KENNEDY buried the hatchet with Simon Hughes yesterday by appointing his main rival for the Liberal Democrat leadership to the senior post he coveted.

Kennedy to promote leadership rivals in Lib Dem shuffle

CHARLES KENNEDY, the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, is to announce a radical reshuffle of his front bench team, creating a "shadow cabinet" of senior party spokesmen.

Poor to win in pension revolution

A REVOLUTION in pensions was unveiled by the Government yesterday as it promised extra cash for the poor and incentives to persuade middle-income groups to provide for their retirement.

Letter: Defending pensions

Defending pensions

Lone parents: Blair savaged as angry MPs speak up for the `betrayed'

The Prime Minister was confronted by Labour backbench anger over the cuts in benefits for lone parents at Question Time. Colin Brown, Chief, Political Correspondent, says a string of Labour MPs risked the wrath of the whips in speaking out against the Government.

Benefit rebels back Lib-Dems

Two Labour rebels are expected to put their names to an opposition motion next week calling for cuts in lone parent benefits to be dropped. Audrey Wise, the MP for Preston, and Lynne Jones, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, are expected to sponsor a Liberal Democrat amendment in Wednesday's debate on the Social Security Bill.

Lone parents' benefit cut: What makes Harriet Harman tick?

Harriet Harman was always going to have her difficulties with the Labour Party once in government. First, there are plenty of MPs who haven't forgotten her decision to defy party taboos by sending one of her sons to a grammar school; second, the job of Social Security Secretary in a Labour government is inherently difficult - even when you're not, as she is, a member of a government committed to radical welfare reform. Just as Tory Home Secretaries can never fully satisfy their constituency unless they are prepared to forsake reason, so the party always wants more from its DSS ministers than they can give. And Ms Harman's personality isn't one everyone finds congenial. It's not just the middle-class Metropolitan manner of a St Paul's ex-head girl. It's also a certain imperviousness in the face of opposition, amply demonstrated in last year's grammar school fracas. This is a strength; but it can also be a trifle exasperating. Finally - and this has nothing do with her own character - even the most progressive of us are a little schizophrenic about our women politicians. In our heads we want them to be just like men; in our hearts, male or female, we expect them to be just a little more caring and just a little less macho than men.

Pensions review raises spectre of cuts

An official review of pensions provision was set up yesterday by Harriet Harman, Secretary of State for Social Security, to explore the problems that persist despite annual public-private contributions worth pounds 60bn.

Step forward, Mr Steve Webb...

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