16m pay bonanza for five British Gas bosses: Windfall came just weeks after inflation-busting price increases Chief executive Sam Laidlaw is handed 5million Figures emerge in Centrica's annual report showing British Gas made 606million profitOfgem predict the average gas and electricity bill will rise to 1,420 by end of next year was 1,188 and customers have seen their prices double over the last seven years. A total of 2.5million families are estimated to live in ‘fuel poverty’, which means they have to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on their energy bill
Indian villagers who claim to be a 'Lost tribe of Israel' to return to Jewish homeland after five year legal fightVillagers from northeastern India will be allowed to settle in IsraelThey claim to be the Bnei Menashe, who were banished from Israel in eight century BCThey were recognised by a Rabbi in 2005 but many Israelis dispute it PUBLISHED: 21:37 GMT, 26 December 2012 | UPDATED: 21:37 GMT, 26 December 2012 Dozens of Indian Jews who claim to be the descendants of a lost biblical Jewish tribe emigrated to Israel from their village in India on Monday, celebrating their arrival after a five-year struggle to get in. The Bnei Menashe, from the northeastern part of India, say they are descended from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the eighth century B.C. An Israeli chief rabbi recognised them as one of the 10 'lost tribes' in 2005, and about 1,700 moved to Israel over the next two years before the government stopped giving them visas
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’.
Fewer than one in ten women stay at home to look after their childrenLatest census figures show 300,000 fewer staying home than thought Concerns for well-being of mothers and impact on toddlers in day careStay-at-home figures dropped from 17 per cent of women 20 years ago | UPDATED: 01:37 GMT, 17 December 2012 Fewer than one in ten woman of working age are staying at home to look after their children and families The stay-at-home mother is fast becoming consigned to history, according to the latest census figures. Returns showed there are 300,000 fewer than officials had previously estimated, with those who devote their lives to bringing up families now reduced to a tiny minority
Labour refuses to back 1% cap on benefits rises but minister insists the era of the 'generous' welfare state is over Pensions minister Steve Webb warns the state of the nation's finances means 'difficult decisions' had to be made George Osborne used the Autumn Statement to say rises in working age benefits will be capped at 1 per cent from April 2013 Chancellor said the cap would be enshrined in law – forcing Labour to decide whether to oppose limits which polls indicate will be welcomed by the public By Matt Chorley and Tim Shipman PUBLISHED: 00:11 GMT, 6 December 2012 | UPDATED: 00:00 GMT, 7 December 2012 ‘ Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb said the state of the public finances meant benefits could not be as 'generous' as they were in the past Labour is refusing to back the unprecedented cuts to welfare benefits outlined by George Osborne in his Autumn Statement. Ministers have insisted that Britain can no longer afford the ‘generous’ handouts of the past, but in its verdict on the statement, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that its effect will be to take from the poor and give to the middle.
24,000 'died because of cold homes' last winter: Fears grow that figure could be higher this year because of spiralling bills 'Excess winter deaths' figures were published yesterday with majority of victims over 75Cold homes are known to exacerbate underlying medical conditions in the elderly | UPDATED: 07:41 GMT, 30 November 2012 Spiralling energy bills contributed to 24,000 deaths last winter, as many elderly people cut back on their heating. The shocking toll will increase fears that the number will be even higher this year because of further increases in energy bills and warnings of a particularly cold winter
Average home heating bill hits 600: Millions plan to ration usage after price surge Latest figures show average bill is 63 per cent higher than in 200890 per cent of people plan to go without heating to cut costs Fears some elderly people will die from the cold because they switch heating off to save money In recent weeks five of the 'big six' energy giants have raised tariffs | UPDATED: 14:37 GMT, 28 November 2012 Cold: 90 per cent of people say they will switch off heating to save money this winter Millions of householders are planning to ration heating this winter after bills surged to shocking new levels. The latest figures reveal that the average bill is 587 – a startling 63 per cent rise from 360 in 2008