Margaret Thatcher and her chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe were behind a politically toxic plan in 1982 to dismantle the welfare state, newly released Downing Street documents show. She later attempted to distance herself from the plans after what was described as a "riot" in her cabinet.
David Cameron has failed to end the Tories' image as the party of the rich and is paying the price as Conservatives struggle to extend their appeal to urban areas in the north of England, according to the head of Downing Street's favourite thinktank.
A fresh row has broken out over Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney's vow to extend tax cuts for America's richest people after a study found it would likely see the fiscal burden placed on poorer and working class families increase.
Paying a plumber cash in hand is "morally wrong" because it denies the revenue vital funds, a Treasury minister said as the government outlined new ways of cutting down on £5bn in tax avoidance.
Savage cuts to social benefits have shredded the welfare "safety net" and left many disabled families in a "struggle for survival", according to a detailed study of the impact of the government's austerity programme.