Back to the future: Darling gambles on 1970s-style tax raid against the rich

Alistair Darling delivers his devastating Budget to the Commons

Recovery next year? It's a fantasy! Scorn at Darling's optimism as he admits £700bn shortfall

Alistair Darling holds Gladstone's old Budget box

Alistair Darling was accused of basing his Budget on a 'fantasy' that a recovery starting next year would clean up a public-finance bloodbath.

The £200 sweetener for pensioners - with a sour note

Pensioners will have the first £10,000 of any savings they have will be disregarded in assessing them for benefits such as Pension Credit

Hundreds of thousands of pensioners who are struggling to survive on their savings have been handed an extra £200.

Multi-billion pound injection to get homes market moving again

The Chancellor today used his Budget to announce measures to help the struggling construction and residential property markets

Chancellor Alistair Darling said the exemption meant that 60 per cent of homebuyers would not be liable for the tax.

Auditors called in over bill for exotic holidays taken by former university chief's wife

Former vice -chancellor Simon Lee and his wife Patricia

An investigation has been ordered into multi-million pound bill run up by a university's staff on official credit cards, including exotic foreign trips by the vice-chancellor's wife.

Girl, 6, dies after GP failed to carry out blood test which would have saved her life

'Preventable death': Bethany Townsend died of a kidney disease while waiting for a blood test

Bethany Townsend died from an acute kidney disease after her doctor missed a 'huge window of opportunity' to send her for a test that would have saved her.

Ministers LIED over SATS fiasco and 'sexed up' evidence, says dumped exam boss

Dr Ken Boston

The former chief of the national exams watchdog yesterday urged ministers to quit over the SATs marking fiasco after claiming they 'sexed up' their side of the story to pin the blame on him.

Dumped: 230,000 tons of rubbish we sort for recycling that ends up clogging landfill sites

Which? says that 5 per cent of recyclable items collected on the doorstep are subsequently rejected

Hundreds of thousands of tons of waste sent for recycling is being dumped every year, it is claimed, because councils say it is 'contaminated'.

Fancy a salt sandwich? Ready-made lunch can contain as much as 12 bags of crisps

A Subway Turkey Breast and Bacon Melt Wrap. Subway's Meatball Marinara contains 4.7g of salt

The ready-made sandwiches enjoyed by millions of workers can contain almost as much salt as 12 bags of crisps.

Hand over your mother or we'll smash the door down: The moment social workers and police snatched back great-grandmother taken out of care home by her own daughter

Betty Figg

Has summer come early? Britain heads for hottest April in ten years - it's warmer at home than in Athens or in Rome

April hot weather

The temperature in the capital yesterday was far hotter than the average for London at this time of year, of just over 14c, and higher than the 20.6c achieved in Rome.

Calls to jail doctor who cloned dead girl Cady's blood

Cady

The fertility doctor who claims to have created cloned human embryos and injected them into women desperate to have children is facing a barrage of criticism.

Head boy at top public school arrested after 'race slur knife fracas' at student party

Darryl Marfo

The head boy of a prestigious private school has been arrested over claims he brandished a kitchen knife during an dispute at a student party.

Brown faces rebellion over MPs' expenses reform

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown was last night trying to defuse a damaging revolt over his plan to reform MPs' expenses.

Bonjela ulcer gel 'poses serious health risk to children'

Bonjela

Parents are being warned not to let their children use the adult form of Bonjela over fears that it may cause a potentially fatal illness.

Police search for girl, 14, who 'ran away with man met on networking website Bebo'

Victoria Ayling

Cost of holiday text messages slashed to 9p after EU agrees to cap on charges

EU vote: The cap on charges will see the cost of overseas text messages drop from up to 41 pence to just nine pence

Mobile phone companies will be forced to slash 'rip-off' overseas charges in time for the summer holidays.

Father found dead with his two children was 'distraught' over split from wife, inquest hears

Happier times: Iain and Alison Varma with their daughter Chloe. Mr Varma was found dead in his home with Chloe and her brother Zac

A jilted husband stabbed himself and died in a house fire with his two young children after his marriage broke down, an inquest heard yesterday.

Government attempts to deport Pakistani students held in terror raid fiasco then released without charge

Police guard an address in Manchester

The fiasco over the botched north west terror raids threatened to spiral out of control today after all 12 men arrested over an alleged bomb plot in the north west were released without charge.

'Gutless' friends escape prosecution because neither will say who drove car which killed young woman

Christina Cornwell

Two friends have escaped prosecution after refusing to admit who was driving in a car crash which killed a young woman.

Police mocked up murder scene to snare millionaire who tried to have his father's widow killed

Erkin Guney and Diane Holliday

'Brilliant' pupil at top grammar school killed after stepping on live rail line as he took shortcut across train tracks

A brilliant schoolboy has died after stepping on a live rail as he took a shortcut across train tracks after a night out with friends.

Passenger fury as rail firms raise prices by 11%... as the economy suffers deflation

Fares

Train companies were yesterday accused of 'daylight robbery' for raising off-peak rail fares by up to 11 per cent at a time of deflation and recession.

Ryanair considers 'fat tax' on overweight passengers

Weight restrictions: Ryanair is considering ways of charging overweight passengers...

Overweight passengers may soon have to pay a 'fat tax' or even purchase a second ticket to fly with budget airline Ryanair.

Girl's heart operation cancelled THREE times because of a shortage of hospital beds

heart op

A three-year-old girl waiting for vital heart surgery has had her operation cancelled three times in as many weeks because of a shortage of hospital beds.

Father-of-three faces jail after whipping children with a riding crop to 'instil discipline'

riding crop

A father faces jail for horsewhipping his young children to 'stop them going off the rails'.

Here come the girls... Africa's most glamorous First Lady shows Sarah Brown the great heights of hairstyling

hantal Biya steals the show with her signature banane, leaving Sarah Brown looking a little flat

Sarah Brown was probably quite pleased with the bouncy blow-dry she achieved that morning. Then she sat down next to this woman.

Gurkhas set to win the right to live in Britain

Joanna Lumley

Thousands of retired Gurkha soldiers are set to finally win their battle to live in Britain this week.

What a joke! Health and safety bans circus clown from wearing his big, floppy shoes

Valerik Kashkin

Children to be tracked by satnav bus passes

Bus

Children are to be tracked by satellite technology to allow parents and teachers to keep tabs on them.

How thinking young can help to boost your memory

Pensioners

It's not good news for those who fear that old age and a failing memory come hand-in-hand.

From topless model to Big Brother stars, meet the Berlusca Babes: Silvio's latest leggy line-up of prospective MEPs

Eleonora Gaggioli

Silvio Berlusconi has introduced his line-up of prospective candidates for the upcoming European elections - and they knock the socks off the Blair Babes. But are they qualified?

Bush officials were responsible for 'torture' - and tried to shift the blame to soldiers, new Senate report claims

The report names Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld as having approved an initial memo that filtered through the system to allow for harsh interrogations at U.S. military prisons - interrogations critics have slammed as 'torture'

The report names Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfield as approving the initial memo that it claims started a chain of events culminating in harsh interrogation techniques at U.S. prisons around the world.

The moment model plane came within seconds of crashing into Virgin holiday jet

model aircraft near miss Australia

The video, posted on YouTube, was captured by a small camera fitted to the model plane - giving viewers a bird's-eye-view of an incident which could have caused the jet to crash.

Howzat! British cricketers play world's highest match... on Mount Everest

Playing cricket on Mount Everest

A squad of climbing cricketers today played the world's highest match on the side of Mount Everest.

Gordon Brown says sorry again over the email smears

Nadine Dorries

Gordon Brown was forced to say 'sorry' at the despatch box when he was confronted by one of the victims of Labour's internet dirty war.

Jacqui Smith faces inquiry into botched anti-terror raids

Jacqui Smith leaves Downing Street

The botched anti-terrorist operation against a group of Pakistani students suspected of a bomb plot was last night threatening to embarrass the Government for years.

Alistair in Wonderland: Top Mail writers give their verdicts - now have YOUR say

money

What did YOU make of Darling's budget? Here leading Daily Mail writers give their instant verdicts - we'll be adding more throughout the afternoon. You can have your say by clicking on the comments box below.

HARRY PHIBBS: 50 per cent tax rate is a naked political stunt - and it won't raise a bean

alistair darling

The sombre economic climate contributed to a downbeat budget in tone as well as substance. No jokes. Few schoolboy whoops. At least he accepted there is a recession.

PETER OBORNE: A cynical scheme to hoodwink the voters

A general view of the House of Commons

Many will instinctively welcome Gordon Brown's announcement last night that he is to impose a tough new system of MPs' expenses.

ANDREW ALEXANDER: Who let the dogs out, Mr Brown?

Gordon Brown is eager to disavow Damian McBride

Eager as the Prime Minister remains to disavow Damian McBride, he still has a lingering and serious deniability problem.