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.
The great Christmas getaway will start in earnest today as millions of people hit the roads and crowd onto trains, planes and boats.
The public accounts committee (PAC), chaired by Margaret Hodge, has strongly criticised HM Revenue & Customs for overestimating by �2.5bn the amount of money it expected to collect from a deal with the Swiss authorities to tackle tax evasion.
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.