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The UK’s benefits and state pension are too low, the Council of Europe said yesterday – a claim that Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith dismissed as “lunacy”.

Welfare for the wealthy must be tackled before the government makes any further benefit cuts, Nick Clegg said

We must tackle welfare for the wealthy before cutting benefits for the poor, says Nick Clegg

Welfare for the wealthy must be tackled before the government makes any further benefit cuts, Nick Clegg said on Sunday.

A sensitive look at mental illness: Claudia Hammond

The Week in Radio: World Service's The Truth About Mental Health, showed there are many ways to heal the human mind

"It was a very small room, 10 by 15 feet, without light, without a door," said the mayor of Bangalore, recalling the moment last October when he watched a man with schizophrenia being rescued from 10 years of solitary confinement in his family home outside the Indian city. "(There was) one very small window, it was kept only to feed him," the mayor continued. "You wouldn't even call it a room as there was no exit. There was no way for him to get out. It was not a room that was locked, there was a wall all around him."

Problem debt among older people is leading to huge jump in marriage breakdowns

Older people are facing serious debt problems which are leading to twice as many marriages breaking down, new research published today reveals.

Money spent on housing benefit could build tens of thousands of new homes, says union

"Ending corporate welfare will save taxpayers' money"

Romario the Socialist MP and (below) as a World Cup winner in 1994

Romario sticks boot into the costly Fifa roadshow

One of Brazil’s most famous players is now outspoken critic of their attempts to host the finals

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe inspired by Ryan Giggs' longevity

The Tottenham striker is now 30

Stuart Broad celebrates his seven-wicket haul after the game is won (Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

England bowlers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn to miss first two matches against New Zealand

The pace bowlers have both picked up injuries

Those unemployed for between two and four years had life-satisfaction scores 1.2 points lower on average than people in a permanent job with which they are content

Here’s to your good health (and job) – the things that really matter to us

Survey reveals Britons’ most important factors regarding personal well-being

'Grant Shapps’ children share a bedroom because he needs the other rooms for his online aliases'

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps rebuked over benefit error

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has been rebuked by the UK's statistics watchdog for wrongly claiming that nearly one million people on incapacity benefit (IB) had dropped their claims rather than face medical checks.

Social-housing landlords training staff to spot tenants at risk of suicide

Maintenance workers, call-centre staff and housing officers are being sent on courses after growing problems among victims of austerity reforms

Police at the scene where the body of a two-year-old was found at a home after police were called to the address

Police name toddler found dead in Oxfordshire house as international search for her mother gets underway

The body of the child was found at a house in Bicester after police received a report from a family member who was worried about her welfare

Police at the scene where the body of a two-year-old was found at a home after police were called to the address

Body of two-year-old girl found in house after call to police

The body of a two-year-old child has been found at a home after police were called to the address, police said today.

A colour enhanced MRI image of the brain shows one of the theories into what may be the chemical basis for Schizophrenia. Researchers have found reduced receptors for dopamine in the brain (areas colourized)

We need to change the way we talk about schizophrenia

If we only ever talk about schizophrenia in the context of a violent murder, is it any surprise that the public think people with mental illness are dangerous?

Ed Miliband has criticised Tory rhetoric on welfare

Labour voters shift their views on welfare claimants - to the right

Pressure on Labour to adopt a tougher stance on welfare has increased after new research showed that the party’s own supporters are less sympathetic towards benefit claimants.

Taking part in regular physical activity can both increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety, according to a report released by the Mental Health Foundation

Why the object of exercise is not just a physical one: Regular exercise lowers depression risk by up to 30 per cent

Just 10 minutes’ brisk walking can improve your emotional state, according to a report being released by the Mental Health Foundation to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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