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

Moya Greene in red at the London Stock Exchange in October 2013; Moya Greene's £1.5m earnings were modest compared to those of other FTSE 100 bosses

Why the residents of Benefits Street and Moya Greene, the Royal Mail chief executive worth upwards of £1.5m, are not so different after all

It's not just the poor who are subject to occasional feelings of entitlement

In an interview with The Independent, Rachel Reeves, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, revealed a 'tough love' strategy to stop the unemployed staying on the dole for up to three years before their English, maths and computer skills are assessed

Exclusive: Labour will make jobless take maths and English tests

Shadow minister tells ‘The Independent’ those who refuse training will lose benefits

Driving up costs: tourists face taxes in Mexico

Simon Calder: Pack extra pounds if you're off to the sun

The man who pays his way

I set up Parasite Street to balance the benefits debate

Subsidies to the rich cost us much more than benefit fraud

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: As it is, Ed Miliband’s language fails – another sobering Commons tale

“The press was squared / the middle class was quite prepared.” Hilaire Belloc’s words about another Prime Ministerial hopeful could have been written for Ed Miliband this week. How better to describe his article in the Daily Telegraph, no less, promising to “save the middle class”?

Michael Voudouri, one of Britain's most wanted tax fugitives, has been arrested in Cyprus

‘He cost taxpayers £10m’: tax fugitive Michael Voudouri arrested in Cyprus

One of Britain's most wanted tax fugitives has been arrested in Cyprus.

Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after not being given access to medical treatment

Sergei Magnitsky - the final insult: Russia continues to 'desecrate the memory' of the whistleblower lawyer

First he was imprisoned. There he died after being denied medical treatment. Then he was put on posthumous trial. Now the Russian lawyer who dared to expose a £140m fraud is accused of perpetrating the crime himself

Thinking about a career change? Get into teaching

Bethany Doughty worked as an actuary for 10 years before deciding to retrain as a maths teacher. It has proved to be a lifechanging move, for all the right reasons…

Collectors’ item: a 1969 Lancia Fulvia Spider Fiorio & Maglioli, selling at auction for a price that reflects its rarity

Auction set to drive high price for for last remaining classic 1969 Lancia Fulvia Spider

A 1969 Lancia Fulvia Spider Fiorio & Maglioli will be sold today by auctioneers Coys at the NEC in Birmingham and is expected to fetch as much as £220,000.

Proposed sell-off of Government land and property could pave the way for thousands of new homes

New property search engine will allow everybody to search the government’s £330 billion property portfolio by town and postcode

'My goldfish died': 10 oddest excuses for late tax returns

HM Revenue and Customs reveals 10 most bizarre excuses for sending in a late return

Chancellor George Osborne visits manufacturing company Sertec in Birmingham. The Chancellor has set out plans to cut a further £25 billion from public spending - including £12 billion from benefits
British legal professionals hold placards during a protest against cuts to the legal aid budget during a protest outside Southwark Crown Court

Don't call it a 'strike': Barristers withdraw labour and courts including Old Bailey fall silent for the first time in centuries over legal aid cuts

They feel misrepresented as 'fat cats' and are alarmed by cuts in the legal aid budget

Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly insisted that the task of clearing the deficit is not completed

George Osborne insists Britain must make £25bn more welfare cuts in 2014

The Chancellor has branded 2014 the 'year of hard truths'

Ministers have been urged to rethink their plans to help families with the soaring cost of childcare because they will benefit couples with a joint annual income of up to £300,000 while reducing support for poorer people

Childcare reforms ‘will help richest families’, warn Government advisers

Campaigners say Coalition must tackle ‘in-work poverty’

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 tomorrow
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick