Austerity until 2018 means spending cuts and tax rises worth 27bn, IFS warns

27bn black hole in the nation's finances: More tax rises and benefit cuts are vital after the election, say experts Institute for Fiscal Studies reveals extent of spending reductions needed to meet George Osborne's deficit targetsIf spread across Whitehall unprotected areas like defence and transport would face cuts of 16%Report also warns poorest hardest hit by 1% benefits cap for three years | UPDATED: 23:32 GMT, 6 December 2012 Ministers must find 27billion of fresh spending cuts or tax rises to plug the black hole in the nation’s finances, Britain’s leading economic think-tank revealed yesterday. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said Britain is on course for 7billion of tax rises and another 20billion in welfare cuts and spending reductions after the next election. IFS director Paul Johnson also predicted that pensioner benefits such as free bus passes and television licences, and the winter fuel allowance – which David Cameron has pledged to protect until 2015 – are almost certain to be slashed after the election

Misson Springs level crossing death: 4-year-old girl Emma Lifsey dies in hospital

Girl, 4, dies in hospital after train hits car driven by pensioner at level crossing Child airlifted to intensive care after smash on South Yorkshire Nottinghamshire borderEmma Lifsey died in hospital in the early hours of this morning Woman driver, 67, taken to hospital with injuries | UPDATED: 11:17 GMT, 5 December 2012 A four-year-old girl has died in hospital after she and an elderly woman driver were hit by a train when their car went through a level crossing. British Transport Police said a train collided with a car at the Beech Hill crossing on Springs Road, Mission Springs, Nottinghamshire, at 12.35pm yesterday.

Pensioner, 72, dragged to her death by taxi after shopping bag became stuck in door as driver pulled away

Pensioner, 72, dragged to her death by taxi after shopping bag became stuck in door as driver pulled away Maureen Harrison, 72, was dragged 10 feet along the road The widow suffered a fractured skull, pelvis, collarbone, spine, and ribsShe died in hospital five days later from a bleed in her brain – the day after her 72nd birthday | UPDATED: 15:40 GMT, 4 December 2012 A pensioner was dragged to her death when her shopping bag became trapped in a taxi door as it drove off, an inquest heard. Maureen Harrison, 72, was pulled 10 feet along the road outside her home in Bristol by the vehicle after she accidentally shut the holdall in the door.

Ezekiel McCarthy: Judge frees drunken pensioner, 85, who killed nephew after mistaking him for a burglar

Judge frees drunken pensioner, 85, who killed nephew after mistaking him for a burglar Confused Ezekiel McCarthy thought that Desbert Welsh, 50, was an intruder in his Cricklewood, north London, homeThe pair had been out celebrating McCarthy's birthday the previous nightMcCarthy, one of the oldest people to appear at the Old Bailey, was handed a nine month prison sentence suspended for two years | UPDATED: 18:07 GMT, 4 December 2012 Free: Ezekiel McCarthy, at the Old Bailey, pictured outside the Old Bailey was giving a nine month suspended sentence after stabbing his nephew A pensioner who fatally stabbed his nephew after mistaking him for a burglar walked free from court after a judge took pity on him. Confused Ezekiel McCarthy, 85, stabbed Desbert Welsh, 50, while 'defending himself' against what he thought was an intruder the morning after the pair had been out celebrating the former's birthday in Cricklewood, north London, last November. McCarthy, one of the oldest people to appear at the Old Bailey, was handed a nine month jail term suspended for two years on condition that he is supervised during that time

Parents accused of selling teenage daughter for sex with pensioner for just 12

British parents accused of selling daughter, 11, for sex with pensioner, 76, for just 12Alleged abuse went on in Spain for five years Girl was just 11 when she was first soldForeign office say parents and alleged abuser arrested | UPDATED: 10:47 GMT, 2 December 2012 An 11-year-old British girl was allegedly pimped out as a prostitute by her ex-pat parents for 12 a time. Police arrested the couple on the holiday island of Majorca amid claims they sold the girl, now 15, to a 76-year-old man in exchange for money over a five-year period

Pensioner who went blind after drinking vodka has his eyesight saved… by a bottle of whisky!

Pensioner who went blind after drinking vodka has his eyesight saved… by a bottle of whisky! | UPDATED: 18:48 GMT, 1 December 2012 Incredible: A bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky saved Denis Duthie's eyesight As any hardened drinkers know, too much alcohol can severely impair your sight. But for one man in New Zealand, a whole bottle of whisky actually led to his eyesight being saved

Pensioner, 94, hanged herself at care home over fears she would be moved to dementia ward

Pensioner, 94, hanged herself at care home over fears she would be moved to dementia ward Emily Davis, 94, was found dead at her care home in Bacup, Lancashire | UPDATED: 14:30 GMT, 30 November 2012 A 94-year-old became so paranoid about the staff at her care home that she hanged herself, a coroner has heard. Emily Davis, believed that she was going to be moved to a dementia ward in the Olive House home for the elderly in Bacup, Lancashire, or kicked out of the home altogether despite reassurances from her son, Trevor. Mrs David was found dead in her room at the home in July this year, four years after a previous apparent suicide attempt in 2008.

Motorist who hit pensioner, 81, for driving too slowly has jail sentence overturned

Motorist who hit pensioner, 81, for driving too slowly has jail sentence overturnedPatricia Pearson was punched in the head and mouth by Usman YasinYasin claimed she was driving at 5ph and became infuriated at her speedShe was off to visit her husband in his care home The father of two overtook her, blocked the road with his car and attackedSentence of 16 weeks in prison dropped to 150 hours community service | UPDATED: 16:18 GMT, 30 November 2012 Attacker: Usman Yasin, 30, attacked Patricia Pearson in a vicious road rage attack but has now had his jail term quashed in favour of community service An aggressive male motorist who hit an 81-year-old woman in a road rage attack because she was driving at five mph has had his jail sentence quashed. Pensioner Patricia Pearson was left with deep cuts on her head and face after Usman Yasin overtook and blocked the road before smacking her in the face. She had been driving to visit her husband in his care home

Police ignore yobs and drug pushers to swoop on OAP for playing Perry Como too loud

Police ignore yobs and drug pushers in troubled neighbourhood to swoop on OAP for playing Perry Como too loud People who complained about 71-year-old woman's music were reportedly among thugs who rule the street – and who make the woman's life a miseryMember of one of local 'problem families' was seen smirking as police forced 'shocked' elderly lady to turn down her Perry Como music | UPDATED: 07:44 GMT, 30 November 2012 Police swooped on a 71-year-old woman who was playing her Perry Como, pictured, records too loud In a neighbourhood plagued by open drug dealing and general yobbery, the police had a wealth of potential targets. They could have started by rounding up the pushers said to use ten-year-olds as drug couriers

84-year-old pensioner Joyce Moulson dies after 13-year-old yobs throw stones at her house and smash her window

Elderly woman, 84, collapses and dies minutes after gang of teenagers pelt her home with stones Joyce Moulson was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary but was pronounced dead soon after arrival PUBLISHED: 17:22 GMT, 28 November 2012 | UPDATED: 00:08 GMT, 29 November 2012 Tragic: Bradford grandmother Joyce Moulson was described as 'an absolutely lovely woman' Four schoolboys were last night arrested for the manslaughter of an 84-year-old widow who collapsed and died minutes after yobs had hurled stones and broken a window at her house. Joyce Moulson had been plagued by anti-social youths hanging around on the street outside her home. Mrs Moulson, from Bradford, fell ill at home ten minutes after a window pane on her door had been smashed at her terraced home early on Tuesday evening.