image captionThe papers are dominated by news that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will extend the furlough scheme until the end of September when he delivers his Budget on Wednesday. The Guardian says the announcement – meaning employees who are not currently working because of the pandemic will continue to be guaranteed 80% of their salary – was an unexpected move. But Labour said the extension should have been announced months earlier, rather than allowing businesses to operate with uncertainty.
image captionThe Metro says the extension is being made to avoid “catastrophic” job losses. The paper quotes Mr Sunak as saying “there’s light at the end of the tunnel” with a roadmap in place for reopening” the UK from lockdown restrictions.
image captionThe i points out that it means the furlough scheme will have run for 18 months in total when it ends. It also says the chancellor will confirm in his Budget that the £20 a week uplift in universal credit will continue for the next six months and fuel duty will be frozen for another year.
image captionMr Sunak will say the country is facing a “moment of crisis” when he makes his statement in the Commons. The paper says the cost of extending furlough is estimated to be at least £10bn and will take the jobs support scheme beyond the date the government hopes to end all Covid restrictions, on 21 June.
image captionThe Daily Express says the chancellor will throw a “protective arm” around millions of workers with his “bold” Budget to kick-start Britain’s Covid recovery. The paper say billions of extra pounds are being ploughed into saving jobs and livelihoods, paving the way for a post-pandemic boom.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph says the extension is being made in spite of data that shows efforts to counter Covid-19 are exceeding expectations. The commitment suggests the government believes businesses will not be fully back to normal until the autumn, the paper says. But with a new analysis showing the decline in coronavirus deaths in England is around three weeks ahead of central modelling estimates, there are growing calls for a quicker lifting of the lockdown.
image captionIn other Budget news, the chancellor has been urged to save pubs, reports the Daily Mirror, as it was revealed thousands have shut for good in just over a year. Mr Sunak is to unveil measures to help the industry, including extending VAT cuts until June. But industry bosses have warned aid needs to remain for longer to avoid a “catastrophe”.
image captionMeanwhile, NHS workers could be forced to have coronavirus vaccines, the Daily Mail reports, under plans being discussed by ministers. The paper says as many as 200,000 NHS and care employees have refused the offer of a jab so far, despite working in close proximity to the vulnerable. But it says there would be “major legal and moral issues” about compelling staff to be inoculated.
image captionEngland’s World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst has backed the prime minister’s offer to host the European football championships in England, reports the Sun. The paper quotes Sir Geoff as saying hosting the tournament would “recapture the spirit of 66” when England hosted and won the World Cup.
image captionA Treasury-backed review of the City of London has called for an overhaul of company listing rules so the capital can better compete against rivals in New York and Europe, reports the Financial Times. The paper says the review proposes allowing dual-class shares to give founders greater control of their businesses and attract a wave of tech companies to the market.,
image captionAnd finally, the Daily Star leads on news of a couple who matched all seven numbers to win a £182m lottery jackpot – only to find their purchase of the ticket hadn’t gone through. “And you thought you were having a bad day” is the paper’s headline.