As austerity budget is announced…
Labour and Lib Dems accused of 'not trusting the people' to decide the future of Britain's place in EuropeGeorge Osborne reveals Tory plan to portray rival parties as undemocraticHe dismisses warnings from Nick Clegg that years of uncertainty ahead of 2017 EU referendum will undermine growth by deterring investorsBoris Johnson attacks Labour's Ed Miliband for ruling out a vote Warns Britain cannot 'run away' from tough choices on the economyDavid Cameron promise of a say on EU gave Tories a poll boost .
Ditch austerity Boris tells Osborne amid fears the economy is heading towards a trip dip recession Office for National Statistics announces negative growth for final quarter of last yearResults mean there was no growth overall for the whole of 2012 Nick Clegg admits government was wrong to cut funding for big building projects, damaging jobs and growth Boris Johnson says it is time to 'junk the rhetoric of austerity'IMF chief economist says the Chancellor should use the Budget in March to 'take stock' and change courseExperts warn of longest depression in living memory , which meant there was no growth overall last year” class=”blkBorder” /> The Office for National Statistics said the economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the last three months of 2012, which meant there was no growth overall last year Construction grew by 0.3 per cent, but not enough to make up for sharp drops in the last year In a very public challenge to mainstream Conservative policy, London mayor Mr Johnson warned that the ‘hair-shirt’ agenda set by the Chancellor and gloomy remarks from the Bank of England threaten hopes of a recovery. And in a sign of coalition tensions over the flatlining economy, Nick Clegg made clear the Liberal Democrats will demand higher capital spending on infrastructure projects in the next public spending review – a shot across Mr Osborne’s bows. IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard said the Budget in March would be a good time to slow the pace of austerity The slump rounded off the worst four-year period for the British economy, excluding the aftermath of war, since the 1830s.
Councils pleading poverty have put 16billion in the bank despite railing against 'Dickensian' cutsReserves up by 15.5%, from 14.2billion in 2011 to 16.4billion this yearA third of councils' annual spending now put straight into the bank | UPDATED: 23:23 GMT, 30 December 2012 Hitting back: Communities Secretary Eric Pickles accused councils of scaremongering Councils have salted away an extra 2.2billion in the last year – while stepping up their campaign against the Government’s ‘Dickensian’ cuts. Official figures reveal that council reserves have rocketed by 15.5 per cent, from 14.2billion in 2011 to 16.4billion this year. The figures emerged as local authorities launched a two-pronged attack on ministers over ‘grossly unfair’ cuts that will require them to trim their budgets by an average of 1.7 per cent next year
Anti-cuts demonstrator spared jail after being caught with smoke bombs and bangersMatthew Bates, 25, from Bristol, caught with fireworks during disturbances Admitted possessing explosive substance but 'did not intend to cause alarm'Hundreds were arrested after extremists clashed with police following rally | UPDATED: 21:02 GMT, 21 December 2012 Matthew Bates, 25, was spared jail today after admitting being caught with bags full of smoke bombs and fireworks during an anti-cuts demonstration last year An anti-cuts demonstrator caught with two bags full of 'smoke bombs and bangers' at a rally that ended with running battles between police and protestors was spared jail today.
Desperate stores slash prices again as shoppers shun the high streetMany retailers make more than 40 per cent of sales and profits in the run-up to ChristmasBut they are faced with a slump in the numbers coming through their doorsThe figure is down by 5.7 per cent in out-of-town malls, 5.5 per cent in shopping centres and 2.1 per cent on the high street | UPDATED: 23:27 GMT, 19 December 2012 Desperate retailers are slashing prices as shoppers shun stores, with numbers down by up to 5 per cent compared to last year. Many retailers make more than 40 per cent of sales and profits in the run-up to Christmas, but they are faced with a slump in the numbers coming through their doors. The figure is down by 5.7 per cent in out-of-town malls, 5.5 per cent in shopping centres and 2.1 per cent on the high street, according to the British Retail Consortium.
Tomb of Roman general who inspired Russell Crowe's Gladiator could be reburied as Italy can't afford to preserve it Burial place of Marcus Nonius Macrinus was found near river Tiber in 2008 It will be filled in unless 2m can be found to protect it from winter weather | UPDATED: 10:54 GMT, 10 December 2012 When archaeologists unearthed the well-preserved tomb of a second-century Roman general that had lain under muddy clay for 1800 years, their find was hailed as the most important ancient Roman monument to come to light for decades. The burial place of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, the general who advised Emperor Marcus Aurelius and fought Germanic tribes in the second century, was found at Saxa Rubra, north of Rome, in 2008, and boasted marble pillars and Latin inscriptions. But despite the joy of historians who pored over the important ancient mausoleum, Italian authorities say it may now have to be reburied as they cannot afford the preservation works necessary to keep it open.
Gridlock on Britain's roads is costing families 500 a year in wasted time and fuel | UPDATED: 00:58 GMT, 10 December 2012 Gridlock on UK roads is costing every motoring family in Britain nearly 500 a year as the 4.3billion price of jams is passed on to consumers, a new report reveals today. The lost time alone wasted in gridlock adds up to 331 per family. Some 52 per household is wasted on fuel — and the costs passed on to households by firms whose businesses are hit by gridlock which delays freight and wastes employees’ time equates to around 107 per family, or 1.1billion in total.
Indecision over EU is costing Tories dear | UPDATED: 23:50 GMT, 9 December 2012 'Back to a common market': Liam Fox will call on the Prime Minister to do all he can to achieve a looser, trade-based relationship with the EU With the eurozone engulfed by rage and violent protest against crippling austerity and terrifying levels of unemployment, the sight of EU leaders mustering in Oslo yesterday to collect the Nobel Peace Prize was truly nauseating. To indulge in such a public orgy of self-congratulation when so many ordinary Europeans are suffering unprecedented hardship shows how far removed these smug eurocrats are from the people they pretend to serve
Every little helps: Dead Brits leave George Osborne 54,000 in their wills to pay off national debt (only 999,999,946,000 to go) Chancellor forced to admit in his Autumn Statement that he will not meet his target to get debt under control by 2015New figures show that in first year of the coalition generous members of the public bequeathed 54,634.46 to pay down debtTreasury insists it appreciates the help but only covers 0.0000054% of debt | UPDATED: 16:37 GMT, 7 December 2012 Chancellor George Osborne was forced to admit he will miss his target for getting debt under control by 2015, but some generous people are doing their bit by leaving money in their will for the public finances Dead Britons have left George Osborne 54,000 to help pay off the ballooning national debt from beyond the grave.