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In last weekend's Independent On Sunday, I spoke to five experts from think tanks, charities and pressure groups to discover what they believe the Chancellor should announce in his Autumn Statement in a month's time.

© Independent On Sunday
© Independent On Sunday


I was fortunate to recieve comment from Baroness Stroud of the Centre for Social Justice; Julia Unwin of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Angus Hanton of the Intergenerational Foundation; Campbell Robb of the housing charity Shelter; and Stephanie Lis from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

The months leading up to Christmas are rich pickings for fraudsters. Far more shopping is done online, often in a hurry, and many people are desperate for some extra cash. People like Ann-Marie Deaton, a single mother of four children aged between 9 and 13.

She took on what she thought was extra work to earn some money to spend on her kids, only to find herself owing PayPal more than £3,000 instead.

Jenni Hill is 24 and determined to buy a house of her own. Here's how she's changed her lifestyle in order to save thousands towards her dream.

What does it take for a young person to buy a home today? Back in 1969, official data shows that the typical first-time buyer would have been just 25 years old and their first home would have cost around £4,000.

Fast forward to 2015 where analysis from Halifax reveals that the average new buyer is now 31, with Office for National Statistics data showing that the average price for a starter home is £211,000.

The bin is no place for your food, so how do you stop it spoiling? Mum of two Felicity Hannah goes to war with food waste to see what she can save.

We waste a lot of food in this country, about seven million tonnes a year according to the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign.

And while it can't all be my house, as a family with two children we are undeniably food waste culprits - a household in our demographic typically wastes a hefty £700 a year-worth of edible food.

Dramatic increases in house prices have locked out younger buyers. Does the baby boomer generation now enjoy an unfair level of property wealth?

Life has changed a lot since fledgling homeowners took their first steps on the property ladder in 1969. Back then, the average first home cost £4,000, according to data from the Office for National Statistics – and you would typically have been able to buy it at the tender age of 25.

This family managed to go on an 18 month world adventure without paying a penny for their accommodation - this is how they did it and how you could too.

Ever dreamed about packing up, taking the children out of school and travelling the world?

For most of us, the terrifying costs of such an adventure quickly put pay to such pipe dreams - there's the mortgage or rent to pay, the family to feed, the bills to meet.

'The weakest now bear the heaviest burden' - the Tory party just took food, clothes and homes away from Britain's poorest children for daring to be born.

"This is a budget for working people," thundered the Chancellor as he delivered the first pure-Tory Budget for close to 20 years. Unfortunately for Britain's children they don't work or pay taxes, and they have little say in whether their parents do either.

So perhaps it's no surprise the Government has taken steps to limit welfare support to kids, as well as hacking at the safety net for young adults. Today's Budget was bad news for families and especially bad news for Britain's most vulnerable kids. Here's what Osborne announced...

I ask what you can actually do when faced with a public meltdown.

My two children are good, sweet-natured, kind little boys. Mostly. Every now and again they appear to momentarily channel some sort of demonic force from Dante's seventh circle of hell, usually in public and usually when I am on my own with them.

Our eldest, Harry, is four. He never really went through the terrible twos, so we smugly thought we were doing A-game parenting. Sadly, we were apparently just lucky, because now we are seeing some very challenging moments. Combined with two-year-old Olly's drive for independence, we are really being kept on our toes.

After 28 months of breastfeeding, I share the advice I wish I'd been given...

I love the NHS breastfeeding awareness posters and leaflets. Calm, serene mothers gaze peacefully down at beautiful babies, or laugh with friends as they both breastfeed on a park bench. I wish that had been me.

A more accurate poster might show a mum holding a newborn to a breast with one arm and using the other to change a toddler's nappy, or trying to load the dishwasher with the baby clamped in place.

Immigrants have made a "substantial" contribution to the UK, so why do so many of us think the opposite?

Immigrants to the UK have made a net contribution to public finances of around £25 billion since the year 2000.

That's what a detailed study from University College London's migration research unit found. It's also shown that migrants have been far less likely to claim benefits or use social housing than people already living in the UK.