Profits up 11% but British Gas plans another price increase… as bosses line up a 10m windfall

British Gas under fire for raking in 50 profit per household just months after hiking bills… and the boss looks forward to walking away with 10m Company profits for 2012 have soared to 606million But price rises for 12million customers could come as early as next winterShadow Energy Secretary says market too dominated by 'big six' firmsCaroline Flint called for tough regulation so public don't feel 'manipulated'Campaigners say consumers feel 'resentment and dread' as bills still rise will be used to help fund a 10million package in pay, shares and pension pot for departing boss Phil Bentley, who will leave the business in June.

Phone firms told to stop the rip-offs on fixed fees: Sneak rises add 90m to bills

Phone firms told to stop the rip-offs on fixed fees: Sneak rises add 90m to bills Customers to be allowed cancel their contracts without penalty if bills go upOfcom said many customers do not know bills can rise in fixed term contractNew escape clause to be available to people will fixed-price broadband too By Sean Poulter, Consumer Affairs Editor PUBLISHED: 00:59 GMT, 4 January 2013 | UPDATED: 08:57 GMT, 4 January 2013 Vodafone is one of the major networks that has raised monthly charges on fixed-price contracts in the past year Watchdogs are to stop mobile phone firms making 90million a year by imposing sneak price rises on supposedly fixed-fee contracts. Under plans unveiled by Ofcom, customers faced with unexpected increases in their monthly bill will be able to cancel their contracts without penalty. The new escape clause will be available to those with fixed-price home broadband and landline deals too

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.

Like lemmings, the Americans seem hell-bent on leaping off an economic cliff. The effect on us could be devastating

Like lemmings, the Americans seem hell-bent on leaping off an economic cliff. The effect on us could be devastating | UPDATED: 00:48 GMT, 27 December 2012 As the year draws to a close, we may have survived the end of the world, as foretold by the ancient Mayan civilisation, but we still face financial apocalypse

Average train fare has gone up 26% since start of recession: Unions and passenger groups prepare to protest against high prices

Average train fare has gone up 26% since start of recession: Unions and passenger groups prepare to protest against high prices | UPDATED: 01:56 GMT, 11 December 2012 Average train fares have increased almost three times faster than wages, new research revealed today, with prices now 26% higher than they were before the recession. Unions said the study, published to mark nationwide protests against high fares, showed how commuters and other passengers were suffering “transport poverty”

IFS report: Osborne warned his slow economic growth could mean another SIX years of cuts and VAT rising to 25%

Osborne warned his slow economic growth could mean another SIX years of cuts and VAT rising to 25% Institute for Fiscal Studies delivers alarming assessment of the Chancellor's economic planMore pain to come after growth proved more sluggish than predictedAusterity may have to last until 2018 or impose an extra 23billion of cuts by 2015-16Mr Osborne urged to ditch target for debt to be falling by 2015 | UPDATED: 17:54 GMT, 26 November 2012 Warning: Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been told he could face having to increase tax and impose more cuts to meet pledges to cut the deficit The era of austerity could last until 2018 and VAT may have to rise to as high as 25 per cent to help plug the hole in the public finances, the Chancellor was warned last night. Economists said that if George Osborne wants to meet his pledge to cut the deficit, he could be forced to announce dramatic tax increases, or impose further cuts. The influential Institute for Fiscal Studies said the continued sluggishness of the economy means the current squeeze on public spending may have to last until 2018.