By BBC News

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image captionSeveral papers lead with the rumoured tax hikes in the upcoming Budget. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been warned that tax rises could “choke off” the UK’s coronavirus recovery, the Daily Telegraph reports. They could also impact the UK’s investment appeal post-Brexit and could drive away top talent, the paper adds, citing concerns from business leaders, economists and Tory MPs. One Conservative backbencher, Marcus Fysh, tells the paper: “We need to help the economy, not strangle it.” Meanwhile, more than 700 schools will not fully reopen this week, choosing instead to phase students back, the paper adds.

image captionThe Budget could target pensions, second homes and companies in order to raise £30bn, the i reports. However, Conservative MPs and businesses have warned against raising capital gains and corporation tax. The paper adds that the Treasury is also examining plans to change the triple-lock for pensioners and reduce foreign aid. A senior minister is quoted on the front page as saying: “A lot of us are very worried about massive tax hikes bearing in mind the fragility of the economy.”

image captionMeanwhile, targeting pensions will cause “uproar” and badly damage the government, the Daily Express quotes campaigners as saying.

image captionSpeculation over the Budget also makes the front page of the Financial Times, with Conservative MPs warning Mr Sunak not to impose hefty tax rises on businesses and the wealthy in order to fill the fiscal hole left by the coronavirus pandemic. And ByteDance’s hopes to sell popular video sharing app TikTok in the US have been thrown into doubt after China expanded its list of technologies subject to export controls, the FT reports.

image captionElsewhere, head teachers have warned that they are being forced to weigh pupil safety against financial stability due to budgets being stretched by coronavirus, the Guardian reports. A government support fund which closed in July has not reopened in time for the return of millions of pupils this week, the paper adds. Also on the front page is a warning from leading scientists against a “nationalistic” and “capitalistic” rush to roll out a vaccine that could risk making the pandemic worse.

image captionContinuing with coverage of schools’ return this week, the Daily Mirror calls it: “The biggest test yet.” The paper says the majority of teachers fear that social distancing between pupils and staff will be impossible. The head of school leaders’ union the NAHT has insisted schools have done “all they can” to make classrooms safe. Frustration remains over the government’s decision to issue last-minute guidance on Friday night on what to do in the event of an outbreak.

image captionThe Times says “reluctant” employees are choosing to work from home, rather than travel to the office. The paper cites a survey by the AA, which found that 40% of people who normally drove to work were working from home all or part of the time, rising to 54% among managers and professionals. The government is keen to get people back to the office in order to boost town and city centre businesses, but this now appears to be “stalling”, the paper says.

image caption“Let’s banish all the bags,” the Daily Mail says, with a photo of a swan with a plastic bag in its beak the main image dominating the front page. The price of single-use bags will double – rising to 10p – and will be extended to all small shops, markets and takeaways, the paper reports. The new charge will come into effect in England from April. “This is the end of the giveaway plastic bag,” a source is quoted as telling the paper.

image captionAnd a “polar plunge” has led to the coldest August bank holiday in 50 years, the Daily Star reports. Temperatures were lower than last Christmas, the paper adds, but that didn’t stop revellers celebrating the long weekend.

Several papers assess the readiness of schools in England as nine million children prepare to return.

Head teachers

are being forced to weigh pupil safety against financial stability, according to The Guardian’s lead – which says budgets are being stretched to breaking point because of Covid-19 measures.

The head teacher of one primary school in Devon explains that he would have liked to have had a cleaner on the site to cover shared spaces.

But, he says, it would have cost £15,000 and he is struggling to balance his budget after many years of cuts.

The government tells The Guardian that schools in England are benefiting from a three-year cash boost.

The Times reports that the Department for Education has issued a warning about rowdy behaviour in the classroom – suggesting that children will struggle to adjust after being at home all spring and summer.

image copyrightPA Media

Yet the guidance advises teachers against shouting because of the increased risk of spreading the virus and recommends they should use microphones instead.

The Daily Mail says some schools are threatening to suspend pupils for “joke coughing” or making inappropriate remarks about the coronavirus.
The Daily Mirror leads with a survey of 6,000 school staff which found more than 80% believe social distancing between children and teachers won’t be possible. Ministers insist the risk to children is extremely low.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has been warned that tax rises could “choke” the recovery, according to The Daily Telegraph lead.

It says business groups and some Conservative MPs have reacted with horror to reports of a corporation tax hike – suggesting it would prompt top talent to leave the country and undermine investment.

image copyrightReuters
image captionChancellor Rishi Sunak has been warned against raising taxes

Some Tories are said to be particularly worried that measures to repair the economic damage could lead to the party parroting Labour’s policies.

The Treasury has refused to rule out tax rises, saying these are issues for the Budget.

Art experts say that a picture of a weary old man, rejected as a fake Rembrandt, may in fact have been painted by the artist after all.

The Guardian reports that the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is to put on display “Head of a Bearded Man” after it was revealed to have come from Rembrandt’s workshop.

The work, which dates from the 17th century, spent nearly 40 years in the museum’s basement after it was deemed to be the work of an imitator.

It was only rescued after analysis showed it came from the same wood panel as another painting by the Dutch master.

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