George Obsorne 'wasted Whitehall time and created real economic costs' in last-minute budget manipulation, says Institute for Fiscal Studies

George Osborne has been accused of wasting the time of Whitehall officials and creating “real economic costs” for the country by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank.

Sarah Brockwell, 42, runs her own marketing company. She lives in Great Dunmow, Essex, with her husband Roger, 45. Their children, Edward and Florence, are aged 4 and 2

Budget 2013: Childcare - Poorer working families 'will miss out' on Osborne's family support

The majority of low-paid working families will not qualify for the full amount of state help towards their childcare costs promised in the Budget, according to the first study of its impact.

Budget 2013: low-paid working families 'will not qualify for full childcare support'

Think tank finds only four in 10 low-paid families will see 85 per cent of their childcare bill met by the Government

The Government’s long-awaited proposals to bring down the cost of some the highest childcare bills in Europe will provide 20 per cent tax relief on the charges up to a maximum of £1,200 for each child annually

Families will receive up to £1,200 towards cost of childcare under new plan

George Osborne is due to announce a tax relief package to help parents as part of latest Budget

Kevin McCloud presents Channel 4's Grand Designs

Grand Designs becomes reality? Think-tank says selling off land to first-time buyers for self-builds is answer to Britain's housing crisis

For most would-be property-owners, the idea of building your own home is confined to watching the extravagant creations of Grand Designs take shape on television.

Completing the London Marathon was no tall order for Charley and George Phillips who instead want to complete it on stilts

Eat your greens? Keep fit? Then go straight to the front of the hospital queue

Patients who exercise regularly and avoid fatty foods should go to the front of the queue for NHS operations, a think tank urges today.

Income inequality is at highest level since the 1930s, says report

The growing gulf between Britain's top and bottom earners is exposed in a report tomorrow, which shows that there are now 26,000 Britons taking home more in a month than those on average salaries earn in a year.

Signs of rebound as confidence jumps

Germany looks to be on track to shake off its decline at the end of last year, as analyst and investor confidence in Europe's economic engine room jumped to its highest level for nearly three years in February.

Damian Green, Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

'The height of hypocrisy': Damian Green criticised for justice system transparency call as Government pushes through secret court proposals

Minister Damian Green was accused of hypocrisy tonight after he insisted that transparency was key to reforming the justice system at a time when the Government is pushing through proposals for secret courts.

Brazil’s big landowners have far too much power

Every 12 days in Brazil, someone gets murdered in a land-related conflict - how do the landowners get away with it?

George Osborne's latest headache: the middle gets squeezed tighter

Number of years it takes for a low-to-middle-income household to save for an average deposit on a first-time buyer property

Promotions given to 'appalling' civil service staff, ministers claim

"Appalling" civil servants are promoted out of jobs that they're failing in as part of a culture that "protects inadequacy", government ministers have said in anonymous interviews.

UK economy set for feeble growth in 2013, says NIESR

The UK economy is set to grow by just 0.7 per cent this year, according to the latest forecast from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). The forecast is well below that of the Chancellor's official budget watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, which sees growth of 1.2 per cent in 2013. For 2014 NIESR predicts growth of 1.5 per cent, versus the OBR forecast of a 2 per cent expansion.

The Government argues that 'virtually no households' will lose more than 80p in the pound for every extra hour they worked

New 'poll tax' blow for UK's poorest

Reforms leave millions facing bills of up to £600

More by-election shocks 'likely' as party membership declines

By-election shocks like the one in Bradford West last year, when Labour lost a seemingly rock solid safe seat to the maverick George Galloway could keep on happening, a new report warns.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
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Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

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Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

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America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone