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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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
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
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
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
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
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