Retailers have slashed their prices this weekend in the hope that shoppers will finally flood Britain's high streets today after one of the slowest Christmases on record.
Iain Duncan Smith, the embattled work and pensions secretary, is refusing to meet leaders of the rapidly expanding Christian charity that has set up more than 400 food banks across the UK, claiming it is "scaremongering" and has a clear political agenda.
Britain is on course to post its strongest annual growth since 2007 according to official data - though the same figures showed the recovery is badly out of kilter, with the UK's trade deficit ballooning to its highest level in almost 25 years.
Average income families will take until next June to clear their Christmas debts, with the the average adult borrowing �685 over the festive period, the Trade Union Congress has claimed.
Trust in the big six energy providers suffered a further blow on Friday as npower was given its second fine in a month, this time �3.5m, for misleading consumers.