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Government helpline calls charged at premium rate

More than half of all calls by the public to central Government departments are charged at a premium rate, a report has revealed.

One third of government lines were found to be premium lines. Credit: PA

Published by the Public Accounts Committee, the report shows that over 100 million calls - 63% of all calls to central Government services - were made to higher rate numbers in 2012/13.

The estimated total public cost to those calling premium Government numbers was £56 million in that year.

Defra: We want customers to get a good deal on water

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed the government's move to examine water prices next week.

The Government is working across the board to reduce the cost of living and help hard-working households who are feeling the pinch.

We want to ensure customers get a good deal from the water sector and will be setting out our approach next week.

– Defra statement


Water companies next to face Government scrutiny

Prime Minister David Cameron will take action to help households struggling to meet rising water bills, his spokesman said.

British water firms are next to face political scrutiny over pricing. Credit: PA

"There'll be some progress next week on water bills," the spokesman said. "The prime minister wants to see household expenditure being brought down."

His comments suggested that Britain's biggest water companies could join energy giants at the centre of a political row over the rising cost of living ahead of an election in 2015.

Cameron: Reshuffle will bring in fresh talent

Speaking to Tom Bradby on the Agenda the Prime Minister has said that the reshuffle in the Cabinet is an opportunity to "bring on fresh talent."

What you do is refresh the team and I've got a talented bunch of MPs and it's right some of them should be serving in the government.

It's an opportunity to bring forward some fresh talent. There was a mixture of people from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life. The main thing is are they qualified to do the job and I think they will prove that.

– David Cameron
  • The Agenda with Tom Bradby will be broadcast on ITV tonight at 10.35pm


MP's wife tweets anger after whip loses role

The wife of Robert Syms, who was a Conservative whip, has taken to Twitter to air her anger after he lost his position in the reshuffle.

The self-proclaimed "David Cameron cheerleader" launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister after her husband's demotion:

MPs tweet congratulations to new Cabinet members

MPs have taken to Twitter to express their pleasure at the new Cabinet roles after the government's reshuffle:

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