Labour MP hints at cuts to handouts for rich pensioners: Dame Anne Begg said it would make sense to reform the welfare system

Labour MP hints at cuts to handouts for rich pensioners: Dame Anne Begg says it would make sense to reform the welfare systemPiling pressure on both David Cameron and Ed Miliband Labour politicians tend to defend the principle of universal welfare paymentsPM ruled out any move to means-test these benefits before general election By Tim Shipman PUBLISHED: 02:28 GMT, 30 March 2013 | UPDATED: 02:28 GMT, 30 March 2013 A leading Labour MP has raised the prospect of cuts to pensioner benefits. Piling pressure on both David Cameron and Ed Miliband to accept reductions in handouts for wealthy pensioners, Dame Anne Begg said it would make sense to reform the welfare system so that more generous benefits are paid to fewer people

Nick Clegg would face 150,000-a-year bill for his official country retreat under his own mansion tax plan

Nick Clegg would face 150,000-a-year bill for his official country retreat under his own mansion tax plan The Deputy Prime Minister is entitled to use Chevening House – worth 15mProperties worth more than 2m would be charged one per cent annual tax By Mail On Sunday Reporter PUBLISHED: 01:48 GMT, 3 March 2013 | UPDATED: 02:00 GMT, 3 March 2013 The Deputy Prime Minister shares the use of Chevening House with Foreign Secretary William Hague as a perk of his Cabinet position Nick Clegg's plan to introduce a mansion tax on expensive properties would mean a charge of 150,000 a year on his country retreat Chevening House, it was revealed last night. The Deputy Prime Minister is entitled to use Chevening, which has 115 rooms and is set in 3,500 acres of Kent countryside, as a perk of his Cabinet position.

Senate APPROVES fiscal cliff deal after White House and Republicans strike agreement

Senate APPROVES fiscal cliff deal after White House and Republicans strike agreement | UPDATED: 15:39 GMT, 1 January 2013 The U.S. Senate has voted in favor of a deal to keep the nation from falling over the fiscal cliff, with only the Republican-controlled House left to vote on the package. The vote came about five hours after the White House and congressional Republicans struck a deal

White House and Republicans strike an agreement on fiscal cliff – but midnight comes without a vote

White House and Republicans strike an agreement on fiscal cliff – but midnight comes with NO VOTE | UPDATED: 05:36 GMT, 1 January 2013 With just three hours to go before the start of 2013, the White House and congressional Republicans have struck a deal to avoid falling over the looming fiscal cliff, but 2013 came and went without a vote on the plan. There was no immediate confirmation from aides to the top Republicans in Congress, Sen Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner. The measure would extend Bush-era tax cuts for family incomes below $450,000 and briefly avert across-the-board spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week, according to a Democratic aide.

White House and Republicans strike an agreement on fiscal cliff – but will it come to a vote before midnight?

We have a deal! White House and Republicans strike an agreement on fiscal cliff – but will it come to a vote before midnight | UPDATED: 03:53 GMT, 1 January 2013 With just three hours to go before the start of 2013, the White House and congressional Republicans have struck a deal to avoid falling over the looming fiscal cliff. These officials said a New Year's Eve vote in the Senate to ratify the deal was possible later in the evening, barring opposition from majority Democrats. There was no immediate confirmation from aides to the top Republicans in Congress, Sen Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner.

Mr Cleggs contempt for democracy on EU

Mr Clegg’s contempt for democracy on EU | UPDATED: 00:13 GMT, 28 December 2012 Out of touch: Clegg demonstrated how he remains as detached from the views of the electorate on Europe as ever Yesterday a poll conducted by a pro-European newspaper revealed that 51 per cent of the public want Britain to leave the EU, against just 40 per cent who say they would vote to stay in. Even one in three supporters of the Liberal Democrats – Britain’s most ardently Europhile party – now want out. Yet, in a typically condescending interview to the same newspaper, Nick Clegg demonstrated how he remains as detached from the views of the electorate on Europe as ever

Human right judges go too far, says Grayling as he ratchets up hostilities with Strasbourg court

Human right judges go too far, says Grayling as he ratchets up hostilities with Strasbourg courtJustice Secretary says European human rights judges are interfering with domestic issuesThey have 'lost sight' of the core principles behind human rightsRights are 'too open to abuse', Mr Grayling added | UPDATED: 08:01 GMT, 18 December 2012 Broadside: Conservative Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has accused European lawmakers of overstepping their authority and deciding matters best left to domestic courts A senior cabinet minister last night accused European human rights judges of ‘overstepping the mark’ – in a significant ratcheting up of hostilities with the Strasbourg court. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s remarks are the strongest condemnation to date of the controversial court from a Tory minister. He accuses the judges of prying ‘more and more’ into areas that should be decided in domestic courts or by MPs in Parliament

A victory for free speech: Lords vote to axe law banning insults that had led to countless arrests of ordinary people

A victory for free speech: Lords vote to axe law banning insults that had led to countless arrests of ordinary peopleSection 5 of the Public Order Act criminalised ‘insulting’ words and behaviour But it had not defined what the term meant, leading to an abuse of the lawA move by Lord Dear, a former West Midlands chief constable, was backed by 150 votes to 54 | UPDATED: 07:49 GMT, 14 December 2012 Free speech campaigners have hailed a vote by the House of Lords to scrap a draconian law that made it a crime simply to insult someone. The controversial legislation led to countless arrests of ordinary people for making jokes and expressing opinions about religion and sexuality. An amendment to strike out the term 'insult' by Lord Dear, a crossbencher and former West Midlands chief constable, was backed by 150 votes to 54 Section 5 of the Public Order Act criminalised ‘insulting’ words and behaviour – without defining what the term meant.

No, Mr Tubby Tycoon, dodging your tax tab is NOT a jolly clever wheeze

No, Mr Tubby Tycoon, dodging your tax tab is NOT a jolly clever wheeze | UPDATED: 00:37 GMT, 2 December 2012 Toughening up: The Government has said it wants to do more to combat tax-avoidance scheme which are estimated to cost the UK billions every year in lost revenue The Government, pressured by the Liberal Democrats, appears intent on tackling tax avoidance. Revelations about the lengths individuals and corporations go in order to avoid paying their fair share have reminded me of an evening in 2008 that I spent on the same dinner table as a minor-league oligarch. We were at a French film festival and this gentleman spent a long time boasting how he'd jetted in privately from Moscow.