Councils pleading poverty have put 16billion in the bank despite railing against "Dickensian" cuts

Councils pleading poverty have put 16billion in the bank despite railing against 'Dickensian' cutsReserves up by 15.5%, from 14.2billion in 2011 to 16.4billion this yearA third of councils' annual spending now put straight into the bank | UPDATED: 23:23 GMT, 30 December 2012 Hitting back: Communities Secretary Eric Pickles accused councils of scaremongering Councils have salted away an extra 2.2billion in the last year – while stepping up their campaign against the Government’s ‘Dickensian’ cuts. Official figures reveal that council reserves have rocketed by 15.5 per cent, from 14.2billion in 2011 to 16.4billion this year. The figures emerged as local authorities launched a two-pronged attack on ministers over ‘grossly unfair’ cuts that will require them to trim their budgets by an average of 1.7 per cent next year

Pay-as-you-drive Britain: Ministers set to approve plans to introduce tolls on motorways and A roads

Pay-as-you-drive Britain: Ministers set to approve plans to introduce tolls on motorways and A roads | UPDATED: 13:04 GMT, 22 December 2012 Radical plans to privatise the nation’s motorways and A-roads to create new pay-as-you drive toll roads are set to be given the green light by ministers, MailOnline can reveal. The aim is to pump new private-sector money into the nation’s crumbling road network in a bid to ease the growing gridlock log-jam at a time when cash is tight and raising taxes is politically unacceptable

Google boss Eric Schmidt says he is "proud" of the company"s multi-million pound tax avoidance scheme

'It's called capitalism': Google boss says he is 'proud' of the company's multi-million pound tax avoidance schemeThe search giant paid 6m in tax – despite making sales of 2.6bnCompany’s chairman Eric Schmidt said the company paid 'lots of taxes – in legally prescribed ways' By Peter Campbell and Amanda Williams PUBLISHED: 01:02 GMT, 13 December 2012 | UPDATED: 07:49 GMT, 13 December 2012 The boss of Google last night said he was ‘very proud’ of the elaborate structure that helped the search giant slash more than 200million from its UK tax bill last year. Taxpayers were left to fund the shortfall after Google contributed just 6million to government coffers – despite making sales of 2.6billion. MPs on the influential Public Accounts Committee last month slammed the group’s methods as ‘immoral’.

Pictured: Professor Poliakoff takes TV cameras inside the Bank of England"s gold bullion vault where 197BILLION of the precious metal is stored

Look but don't touch! Rare glimpse of the gold bullion worth 197BILLION hidden deep under the Bank of England Cavern hidden deep under London holds gold haul weighing 4,600 tonnesGold bars are displayed 'just like duty-free chocolate at the airport' Professor given access to nation's extraordinary wealth for documentary Each shelf is worth 35million but exact location cannot be revealed | UPDATED: 22:43 GMT, 12 December 2012 Lying deep beneath the streets of London, hidden in the secret vaults of the Bank of England, is 4,600 tonnes of 'forgotten gold'.