Newspaper headlines: Rishi's new age budget as Queen pulls out of COP26

By BBC News

Image source, UK government
Image caption,
Chancellor Rishi Sunak released images of himself with red Labrador puppy Nova, preparing for the Budget

It's Budget day, so several front pages feature photographs of the chancellor, including the Times which claims Rishi Sunak is expected to almost double economic growth predictions for this year when he delivers his speech - giving him an extra £20-to-£30 billion to spend.

"Our New Age of Optimism", says the Daily Express - quoting the chancellor's pledge to build a post-Brexit economy that can bounce back from the pandemic.

The Guardian says Mr Sunak will strike a "bullish" note - despite facing the threats of inflation and holes in the public finances.

According to the Daily Telegraph, he'll focus on helping families through the cost-of-living crunch and delivering on previous promises before the next election.

The Daily Mirror isn't impressed by Treasury photos of the chancellor preparing for his speech wearing a pair of flip flops costing £95.

The shots are "unintentionally revealing", it argues, emphasising the distance between a "privileged multi-millionaire" and "workers facing a cost-of-living crisis the Conservatives are making worse".

The Sun says business leaders are wondering what happened to the Tories' claim of being the party of low taxes - so "all eyes will be on the small print".

The Times' leader column urges the chancellor to ease the highest tax burden since 1948 - insisting "the government's role is to ensure that growth with stable prices can resume".

Britain "cannot tax its way to wealth", it says, "and Mr Sunak knows this".

Images of the chancellor vie for space on the front pages with those of the Queen following her decision to withdraw from a reception at COP26 in Glasgow next week.

According to the Daily Mail, Palace sources have insisted the move is a "sensible precaution" and the Queen remains determined the climate summit should be a success.

The Mirror says officials "moved to dampen health fears" by releasing pictures of the Queen smiling as she carried out video calls on Tuesday - her first official engagements since her stay in hospital last week.

It says the MPs' report sets out how more than 2,000 consultants were each paid more than £1,000 a day to work on the system which "repeatedly" failed to break transmissions and "deteriorated" just at the point when it was needed most.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Test and Trace is described as a "costly fiasco" by the Telegraph

The paper's leader column describes Test and Trace as a "costly fiasco" and says that with the vast majority of people now vaccinated - "it is difficult to understand" why the operation continues.

The main news for the Financial Times is Tuesday's Commons appearance by Kwasi Kwarteng, in which the business secretary set out what the paper calls a new funding model for Britain's "floundering" nuclear energy programme.

It says the recent cancellation of projects is seen as evidence that the current system - of only paying operators when plants are producing electricity - is broken, so now ministers want to allow construction costs to be front-loaded on to consumer bills.

The FT notes that Mr Kwarteng also spoke of wanting to reduce the UK's reliance on overseas developers and says Tory MPs believe the new model will help him shut out Chinese companies from future energy projects.