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vital statistics

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More than 90 per cent of planning decisions made by England's district councils never come before a democratic planning committee. Instead, they are delegated to planning officers, according to new figures from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

The numbers of families claiming Working Families Tax Credit has risen by 75 per cent under Labour. Inland Revenue figures show 1.4 million families claim it, compared with 790,000 who received its predecessor, Family Credit.

Three-quarters of Britain's workers want more art in the workplace, but less than 50 per cent of firms provide any at all, an ICM survey for the lobby group Arts and Business has revealed.

The average price of a new five-bedroom detached house in Britain has increased from £2,074 in 1920 to £280,000 today, according to the Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

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