Britain spending more on benefits than Scandinavians with 7 out of 10 children living in a home receiving handouts

Britain spending more on benefits than Scandinavians with 7 out of 10 children living in a home receiving handoutsAround 2.1 million children live in a home where no adult is workingLess-well off have become enslaved to state benefits, study says | UPDATED: 22:10 GMT, 21 December 2012 Britain pays out more on welfare than high spending social democratic nations in Scandinavia, according to a think-tank. Nearly seven out of ten children now live in a home that receives at least one cash handout other than child benefit, says the hard-hitting study by the Institute for Economic Affairs. And some 17 per cent of children – around 2.1 million – live in a home where no adult is working ‘easily the highest rate in Europe’.

Could your genes be responsible for how intensely you feel pain?

Could your genes be responsible for how intensely you feel painPeople who feel pain less intensely could have genes that work together to regulate painThose sensitive to pain are more likely to go on to develop chronic pain | UPDATED: 22:36 GMT, 20 December 2012 Sensitivity to pain is all in the genes, according to a new study. People who feel pain less intensely could have a particular set of genes that work together to regulate pain, claims a study published in the journal PLOS Genetics

Nearly half of families are worried about debts as toxic due to runaway inflation and low wage growth

Nearly half of families are worried about debts as toxic combination of runaway inflation and low wage growth means they struggle to make ends meetAverage household now 22 a month worse off than a year agoHouseholds are cutting spending, looking for extra work or asking for helpBank of England says consumer spending has been 'flat' since end of 2009 | UPDATED: 00:04 GMT, 18 December 2012 Nearly half of all households in Britain are worried about their debts as the squeeze on family finances intensifies, the Bank of England warns today. A toxic combination of runaway inflation and low wage growth has left millions struggling to make ends meet in the run up to Christmas. The average household is now 22 a month worse off than they were a year ago, according to a study from the Bank, blowing a 264 hole in annual family budgets

Facebook: How many friends do you have? Researchers reveal what the answer could reveal about your life

How many friends do you have on Facebook Researchers reveal what the answer could say about your life Researchers say the 'perfect' number of friends caries between countriesClaim factors including the availability of friends for babysitting or even money lending can impact the number of Facebook friends a person has | UPDATED: 21:00 GMT, 17 December 2012 Some people like to have a few close friends on Facebook, while others have hundreds who they barely know. Researchers now believe that the number of friends you have can depend on how successful you are, and even how often you move.

Plastic fivers? That will really devalue the pound

Plastic fivers That will really devalue the pound | UPDATED: 23:25 GMT, 17 December 2012 Should you believe that Britain is in terminal decline, an announcement by the Bank of England seems to offer incontrovertible proof. I jest, but only slightly. For a tender has been put out for the printing of banknotes, and by 2015, it seems, they may be plastic

Connecticut school shooting: Did paranoid, gun-crazed mother trigger Adam Lanza"s killing spree?

Did paranoid, gun-crazed mother trigger son's school killing spree Friends say she believed world was on edge of collapseNancy Lanza portrayed as 'survivalist' who stockpiled food, water and gunsShe was shot four times in the head, possibly as she slept, by her sonCollection of guns included handguns, assault rifle and two hunting riflesSon Adam was reclusive, spending most of his time in adjoining bedroomsFiercely protective mother insisted he was never left on his ownMoved to Sandy Hook in around 1998 but Mrs Lanza and husband divorcedFunerals for the young victims are to begin today | UPDATED: 10:38 GMT, 17 December 2012 Gun lover: Nancy Lanza had reportedly become 'obsessed' with guns and taught Adam how to shoot The mother of the loner who massacred 26 pupils and staff at a US primary school may have played a major part in his catastrophic mental breakdown, it emerged last night. Friends and family portrayed Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy as a paranoid ‘survivalist’ who believed the world was on the verge of violent, economic collapse. She is reported to have been struggling to hold herself together and had been stockpiling food, water and guns in the large home she shared with her 20-year-old son in Connecticut.

Business Minister Michael Fallon will set out measures to prevent regulators from stifling small business

Bonfire of red tape to liberate small firms in fresh crackdown on council and quango jobsworthsSmall business regulators warned they face a 'bonfire of excessive red tape'Move ordered by Business Minister Michael Fallon Dramatic overhaul of guidelines planned for 'men with clipboards'George Osborne set out 'package of measures' to tackle regulation last week | UPDATED: 01:28 GMT, 15 December 2012 Easing the burden: Business Minister Michael Fallon will set out measures aimed at preventing regulators from burdening small businesses Council and quango jobsworths who regulate small businesses face a ‘bonfire of excessive red tape’ in a fresh crackdown on their box-ticking culture. Ministers want to prevent regulators from needlessly burdening businesses and stifling economic growth

Housing market: More misery for renters as average monthly payments are expected to jump by 4%

More misery for renters frozen off the housing ladder as average monthly payments are expected to jump by another 4% Rents expected to rise twice as fast as house prices in 2013Cost of the average home will rise by a modest two per cent | UPDATED: 09:12 GMT, 14 December 2012 Rents will rise twice as fast as house prices in 2013 as Britain’s embattled housing market endures another tough year, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors will say today.

Britains coveted triple AAA credit rating comes under threat as ratings agency puts country on "negative watch"

Britain’s coveted triple AAA credit rating comes under threat as ratings agency puts country on 'negative watch'Standard & Poor’s said there was a one in three chance it could lower Britain’s rating within the next two yearsIt said it expected government debt as a percentage of gross domestic product to continue to rise in 2015 before declining againA downgrade by one of the big three credit ratings agencies would drive up the UK's borrowing costs | UPDATED: 19:24 GMT, 13 December 2012 Worrying: Britain's gold-plated triple AAA status came under pressure today after an influential credit ratings agency put it on negative watch.

More than four in ten firms set up since start of credi crunch in 2008 have folded – and the survival rate is getting worse

More than four in ten firms set up since start of credit crunch in 2008 have folded – and the survival rate is getting worseNearly one million firms shut down between 2008 and 2011The high street has also suffered particularly badly in the last few years the research says | UPDATED: 23:26 GMT, 13 December 2012 More than four in ten firms created since the credit crunch crisis in 2008 had gone out of business by 2011 – and the survival rate is getting worse.