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Angry business leaders and MPs slam Rishi Sunak's £ 30 billion tax heist


Angry business leaders and MPs have beaten the Chancellor's proposed £ 30 billion tax levy on the rich to pay for the massive cost of coronavirus.

Finance officials are expected to craft plans to target the better-off, businesses and retirees to fill the gap in the country's finances.

Capital gains tax and corporate income tax would both be levied in proposals alleged to be central to Rishi Sunak's budget in November.

The proposals were briefly summed up this morning by MPs and executives who described the proposed tax hikes as "no way to get the UK economy going again".

Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh said on Twitter: “Tax increases are the wrong answer to the current situation and number 10 @BorisJohnson is right to oppose them if the Sunday papers have the right story.

“We have to help the economy not to strangle it. These mixed messages are inherently harmful and need to stop. & # 39;

And Adam Marshall, UK Chamber of Commerce Director General, tweeted, “Hammering businesses, entrepreneurs and investors with big tax hikes is not a way to get the UK economy going, rebuilding and renewing it. @RishiSunak has to consider risks to our still fragile recovery. & # 39;

It is expressly assumed that the Chancellor will consider increasing corporate tax from 19 to 24 percent to raise £ 12 billion next year and £ 17 billion in 2023/24.

Mr Marshall added that any corporate tax increase "could play a good role for a focus group but would curb investment and growth at the end of the Brexit transition".

Treasury Secretary Stephen Barclay has refused to refer to reports of the tax increases this morning.

On other developments in the UK coronavirus crisis:

  • More than 10,000 anti-lockdown protesters, who believe coronavirus is a joke, gathered for the Unite for Freedom rally in the capital on Saturday.
  • Capita – the government giant contractor collecting the BBC license fee is running the london Congestion Fee and Other Key Public Service Delivery – Prepares to Close More than a Third of Its 250 Offices Across the UK;
  • Matt Hancock was beaten up for "scaremongering" about a second ban that could "immeasurably harm" companies trying to recover from the first.
  • Half a trillion pounds could be wiped off the UK economy in the next four years if workers don't return to their offices, analysis for The Mail on Sunday shows.
  • The last week of the Eat Out To Help Out program resulted in a doubling of restaurant reservations compared to the same period last year, the Treasury Department said.
  • Parents and unions have beaten the government for announcing new Covid guidelines for secondary schools that will run a rota at local lockdowns.
  • Covid infections are down 14 percent from last week, with 1,108 people testing positive in the past 24 hours – as the UK recorded 12 more deaths on Saturday.

It is expressly assumed that the Chancellor will consider increasing corporate tax from 19 to 24 percent to raise £ 12 billion next year and £ 17 billion in 2023/24

The Office for National Statistics said the UK was hit harder than any other G7 economy in the first half of the year - only Spain experienced a worse downturn

The Office for National Statistics said the UK was hit harder than any other G7 economy in the first half of the year – only Spain experienced a worse downturn

It is believed that tax officials are currently making plans to "simplify" the UK inheritance tax as the government seeks to force wealthy Brits to fund their bailouts in Covid

It is believed that tax officials are currently making plans to "simplify" the UK inheritance tax as the government seeks to force wealthy Brits to fund their bailouts in Covid

Adam Marshall, Director General of the UK Chamber of Commerce, sent a series of tweets criticizing the Chancellor's plans

Adam Marshall, Director General of the UK Chamber of Commerce, sent a series of tweets criticizing the Chancellor's plans

Tory MP Marcus Fysh criticized reports that Rishi Sunak is planning to raise taxes

Tory MP Marcus Fysh criticized reports that Rishi Sunak is planning to raise taxes

Mr Barclay told Times Radio, “Treasury ministers do not care what a budget will or will not do.

"And especially with tax measures in advance, this is for the Chancellor, the budget."

Mr. Barclay said, “There are always four moving parts. The main goal within the Treasury is growth.

“Then there is a balance between the other three moving parts of debt, expenditure, expenditure on feed-in and taxes.

"And what is your trade-off between your spending measures and your tax measures? The real goal is to lessen the economic scars from Covid. & # 39;

Tax officials are also said to be trying to cut billions of tax breaks on pensions that will help taxpayers save for their retirement.

SIX MILLION workers on leave broke the rules by doing their work from home while in lockdown: the work ban was "routinely ignored" and people were "forced" to work by bosses, according to an important report

According to a key report, six million workers on leave broke the rules by doing their jobs from home during the lockdown.

Nearly two-thirds of the 9.4 million people whose salaries were paid by the government worked in April and May, despite the fact that companies were banned from making claims on workers who did so.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's £ 30 billion program, which pays 80 percent of wages for employees on leave, up to a maximum of £ 2,500 a month, was launched to save millions of jobs. However, a study by scientists from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Zurich shows widespread abuse of the vacation system.

Former cabinet minister Damian Green, who was de facto then deputy prime minister Theresa May, said he was concerned about changes to the so-called triple pension lockdown.

The lock means that the state pension is increased each year according to wages, inflation or 2.5%, whichever of the three numbers is highest.

Mr. Green told Times Radio, “I would be very careful if the government were to go down that route.

& # 39; It was a manifesto commitment to keep it. I think this series of things … feels like a standard kite flying on budget, to see what people will make of it.

“The Chancellor is clearly facing uncomfortable opportunities because he has rightly spent many, many billions of pounds in support of the economy and individual workers over the past few months.

“The other one on this list that makes me particularly wince is the thought of breaking the foreign aid commitment.

"I am proud of the fact that the UK is one of the few countries that has honored its commitment to spending a small part, 0.7% of our GDP, on foreign aid, and I would certainly wish it would continue to do so. "

In the proposals, second home owners would also be affected by proposals that people would have to pay capital gains tax at the same rate as they pay income tax.

This would mean that people who own second homes and properties would pay a capital gains tax of 40 percent or 45 percent, compared to the current 28 percent when selling the properties.

But the tax moves are likely to spark an angry response from companies still affected by the effects of the pandemic and from Tory MPs in the party's heartland.

Labor shadow trade secretary Lucy Powell said they would go a different route and now spend more money to keep people in work.

As she appeared on Sky News, she said, “I think the government's main focus right now should be that the hole in public finances is as small as possible, and how are they doing it?

“We ensure that we protect the people at work and keep people at work today and keep these companies running today so that the structural deficit in the economy is as low as possible in the medium term.

“High unemployment, which can last for many months and years, will hurt the public finances the most and, so to speak, balance the books.

“As usual, the government's priorities just don't focus on the task at hand, and this is the main concern for businesses at the moment the government is now looking to the future and almost saying that it will really be okay with high unemployment and how we do it.

"I think businesses want to see the government put all its energy into protecting today's jobs, and that's the best we can do right now."

Mr. Sunak will present a series of measures to take control of public finances, the Sunday Times reported.

A Tory ally told the newspaper: “The political reality is that the only place you can get the money is better. The survey shows that this would be popular. & # 39;

Family businesses that live on corporate dividends rather than salaries could also see their taxes rise.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor is said to be aware of the need to improve the balance between online retail giants like Amazon and independent high street companies that have been crippled by the government's Covid-inspired lockdown.

The Treasury Department is trying to correct the perceived injustice by promoting an online sales tax.

However, the proposals are being rejected by groups of companies fearing the UK will be thrown out of whack with other countries and seriously affect the UK's international competitiveness, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Last night there were reports that No. 10, although no decisions had been taken, was putting up stiff opposition to the tax hike plans. Some officials wanted to know why Whitehall department spending was not taken into account.

Boris Johnson (pictured: with Lord Jonathan Marland at the Churchillian Award Dinner when the Prime Minister was Mayor of London), however, was determined not to go back to austerity and pledging to create jobs and boost spending on key infrastructure programs

Boris Johnson (pictured: with Lord Jonathan Marland at the Churchillian Award Dinner when the Prime Minister was Mayor of London), however, was determined not to go back to austerity and pledging to create jobs and boost spending on key infrastructure programs

Earlier this month, Sunak hinted at tax hikes to fund the massive government bonds that helped fund the fight against the pandemic but caused the national debt to surpass £ 2 trillion for the first time.

Government borrowing of over £ 150 billion in just four months has funded emergency measures – which the Chancellor said has helped support millions of jobs. In an interview he warned that "difficult decisions" were about to be made.

He said: “In the medium term, we must and will put our finances back on a sustainable footing in order to avoid a rise in debt, and we must be honest with people that this will require difficult decisions.

"We cannot offer this level of support indefinitely. When the economy opens up again and more people can work safely again, the nature of our support will change."

However, the prime minister was determined not to return to austerity and to commit to job creation and spending on key infrastructure programs.

Official figures showed GDP grew 1.8 percent in May, although it's still nearly a quarter lower than before the draconian coronavirus restrictions were in place. In this graph, 100 represents the size of the economy in 2016

The UK's mountain of debt is larger than GDP for the first time in decades due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The graph shows that the debt ratio has been much higher in the past

The UK's mountain of debt is larger than GDP for the first time in decades due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The graph shows that the debt ratio has been much higher in the past

The figure shows the debt as a percentage of the gross national product from 1994 to 2020

The figure shows the debt as a percentage of the gross national product from 1994 to 2020

And last night, Senior Tories said Mr. Sunak was now resigned to what they had admitted to "watering the rich" in an attempt to regain control of the nation's finances.

One was quoted as saying, "The political reality is that the only place you get the money is the better." Surveys have shown this is "popular," he added.

However, according to reports, the Chancellor is also targeting the foreign aid budget to find extra money, although sweeping cuts would include repealing laws requiring the UK to pay 0.7 percent of national income for foreign aid.

Mr. Sunak ordered a capital gains reform review earlier this summer. Its officials are now believed to be considering plans to offset capital gains and income taxes.

In response to the Treasury Department's suggestions to The Sunday Telegraph, Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, replied: “We will need tax increases at some point, but this budget is unlikely to be when they will be announced for at least 2021 due to the uncertainty about the economic situation.

Second, the size of the deficit and the specific spending requirements are such that tinkering with small tax hikes won't cut the mustard for the next four or five years.

“It has to be a real, substantial change.

"The trick that you have to play in this budget is, on the contrary, to get the right impetus while at the same time convincing people that they take seriously the need to deal with the deficit in the medium term."

The OBR's downside scenario is that unemployment will rise to more than four million in the next year - at a higher rate than in the 1980s

The OBR's downside scenario is that unemployment will rise to more than four million in the next year – at a higher rate than in the 1980s

National debt will rise if Britain is hit by the coronavirus crisis, following the central watchdog scenario. By 2023/14, debt will be £ 660 billion higher than forecast in March

National debt will rise if Britain is hit by the coronavirus crisis, following the central watchdog scenario. By 2023/14, debt will be £ 660 billion higher than forecast in March

According to OBR estimates, production may not return to previous year's levels until 2025. Taking inflation into account, the UK will be 6 percent poorer in 2025 in the direst result

According to OBR estimates, production may not return to previous year's levels until 2025. Taking inflation into account, the UK will be 6 percent poorer in 2025 in the direst result

The OBR suggested that the national debt will be larger than the entire economy except for the most optimistic scenario

The OBR suggested that the national debt will be larger than the entire economy except for the most optimistic scenario

A shockingly longer forecast from the OBR suggests that government debt will be more than five times the size of the economy by 2070

A shockingly longer forecast from the OBR suggests that government debt will be more than five times the size of the economy by 2070

£ 500 billion cost of ghost town UK: economy will be shaken in next four years if workers are out of office

By Dan Atkinson, Financial Mail on Sunday

Almost half a trillion pounds could be wiped off the UK economy in the next four years if workers don't return to their offices, analysis for The Mail on Sunday shows.

Douglas McWilliams, the former chief economic advisor to the British Industry Association, warns that if home work continues in its current form, the economy will not return to pre-pandemic size until 2025. That would mean £ 480 billion or possibly more in lost production.

Working from home has become controversial as firms like PwC and Schroders come up with flexible work schedules under which most employees would never return to the office full time.

Empty Streets: Thousands of small businesses rely on urban centers to be full of free-spending workers

Empty Streets: Thousands of small businesses rely on urban centers to be full of free-spending workers

Today The Mail on Sunday announced that giant government contractor Capita, which employs 45,000 people in the UK and provides key services like collecting the BBC license fee, will close nearly 100 of its 250 UK offices. The employees will work partly from home and partly from a smaller number of local “hubs”.

McWilliams said the damage from a permanent shift to home work is severe, as the economic activity caused by commuting and socializing cannot be replicated by people who work from home.

Thousands of small businesses – from sandwich bars like Pret a Manger, which is shedding 2,890 jobs, to pubs, newsagents, and dry cleaners – rely on urban centers to be full of staff and professionals who are used to taking on lunch breaks To spend their trips after free and from work and in the evening.

Rail and bus companies will also suffer enormous losses if there is no return to large-scale commuting. While the expenses of people who work from home, such as buying more groceries, would partially offset the loss of trade for bars, restaurants and sandwich counters, it might not offset success for the vital services sector, McWilliams said.

Business leaders are furious at Matt Hancock's "scare tactics" speech about a second lockdown as they warn of "immeasurable damage" to companies trying to recover from the coronavirus lockdown

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been beaten up for "scare tactics" over a second suspension that could "immeasurably harm" companies trying to recover from the first.

The under-attack minister told the Times yesterday that in the event of a second wave of Covid-19 this winter, England could face nationwide restrictions and very extensive local lockdowns.

In an interview, he warned countries in other parts of the world that were already experiencing a second wave, claiming it was "a very serious threat".

Mr Hancock also hinted that grandparents couldn't hug their grandchildren for Christmas if a vaccine wasn't ready soon.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which represents 75,000 companies, warns today that Britain is in the "eye of a storm" to hit this fall unless ministers find a way to restore the economy to normal .

On Tuesday, the government will begin dismantling the job retention system, reducing the contribution for employees on leave from 80 percent of wages (up to a maximum of £ 2,500 per month) to 70 percent (up to a maximum of £ 2,187) , 50).

In the meantime, the Chancellor's “Eat Out to Help Out” discount program, which supported restaurants and pubs in August, will also end tomorrow.

BCC Director Adam Marshall, writing for The Mail on Sunday, urges ministers to stimulate the UK economy by: providing clearer guidelines on safety at work; Tax breaks on money spent securing offices in Covid-19; a better testing and tracking system in case employees get sick; and better access to safe transportation and childcare when schools reopen.

"This sunny summer is the eye of the storm," writes Marshall. “As autumn approaches, we need to shake off this national drowsiness. Britain has weathered the first leg of a Category 5 economic hurricane. But behind it lies the second leg, which is invariably more destructive, wilder and life-changing than the first. & # 39;

Last week, the head of the Confederation of British Industries, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, warned that city centers would become "ghost towns" if people did not return to their jobs.

McWilliams, who is now vice chairman of the Center for Economic and Business Research, stressed that a blanket refusal by everyone to return to work was not the consulting firm's central forecast, adding, "These forecasts are based on nothing that changes but we think about it more likely they will. & # 39;

He said an unchanged scenario would result in gross domestic product, currently only 90 percent of its 2019 level, not falling back to £ 2.21 trillion last year until 2025, assuming growth of 2 percent a year assumes, although this could be as low as 1 percent.

This week is likely to be the last piece of good news in terms of economic statistics for a while. On Tuesday, data provider IHS Markit will publish the results of its latest survey on the intentions of purchasing managers in manufacturing and on Wednesday those in services.

Any value above 50 indicates economic expansion, and there are signs that manufacturing will be at 55.3 and services at 60.1.

Peter Dixon, global strategist at Commerzbank, said: “The problem is what will happen to the job market if the job retention system is finally dissolved on October 31st.

Driving the economy into recession is killing more people than Covid ever could: Risk management expert PHILIP THOMAS says the greatest threat to Britain is our empty shops, offices and factories

By Philip Thomas for the Daily Mail

Today millions are too scared to leave their homes, terrified of a hermit-like existence.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is fueling the flames of fear and increasing the prospect of a "second wave" – ​​for which there is little evidence – while warning of massive local lockdowns himself over Christmas.

This level of concern is completely disproportionate because it is driving the economy more securely into deep recession and killing people more safely than Covid ever could, even if we let it rip.

There is a lot of good news. Take the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which show the death toll has fallen dramatically.

Renowned analysts say the UK's Covid infection continues to shrink, hospitalization rates have fallen and those in need of urgent treatment are mostly making full recovery.

Pictured: An early morning view of Wolverhampton city center from Queen & # 39; s Square with no traffic and no people walking around

Pictured: An early morning view of Wolverhampton city center from Queen & # 39; s Square with no traffic and no people walking around

Yes, lives are at stake, but today our empty shops, offices and factories are the greatest danger. And the misery, disease and loss of life that are the inevitable consequence of our frozen economy. It is important that we get back to work.

The economy not only binds us together, it also keeps us alive longer. A new analytical method developed in Bristol – the Judgment or J-Value method – explains why children born in poorer sub-Saharan countries survive to an average age of only 55, while children born in richer Japan live three decades longer.

Philip Thomas (pictured) is Professor of Risk Management at Bristol University

Philip Thomas (Bild) ist Professor für Risikomanagement an der Universität Bristol

Dies erklärt den Anstieg der Lebenserwartung in Großbritannien gegenüber dem Vorjahr, da das Pro-Kopf-BIP in den Jahrzehnten vor dem Finanzcrash 2007-2009 gestiegen ist, als das Pro-Kopf-BIP um sechs Prozent gesunken ist. Dies erklärt auch die Tatsache, dass das Wachstum des Lebens in Großbritannien zwei Jahre später ins Stocken geriet.

Da die Staatsverschuldung zum ersten Mal über 2 Billionen Pfund steigt, ist die Lage unserer Wirtschaft schlimmer als 2007-2009. Dies bedeutet, dass Tausende von uns – jetzt und in Zukunft – zu einer kürzeren, elenderen Existenz verurteilt werden.

Denken Sie nicht, dass die bevorstehende Rezession nur ältere Menschen betrifft. Die Schließung der Wirtschaft bedeutet, dass Menschen jeden Alters vorzeitig sterben werden.

Die Regierung ist besessen davon, den R-Wert (die Rate, mit der sich das Virus ausbreitet) unter 1,0 zu halten, was bedeutet, dass jede infizierte Person weniger als eine andere Person infiziert und Covid stirbt. Solch ein enger Zügel ist jedoch nicht mit der ordnungsgemäßen Inbetriebnahme von Geschäft und Leben vereinbar.

Wir müssen die Richtung ändern und ein halbes Haus anstreben, in dem wir eine kontrollierte Verbreitung von Covid-19 mit einer R-Rate von etwa 1,4 akzeptieren.

Dies ist der zu zahlende Preis, um den Verlust von noch mehr Menschenleben durch nationale Verarmung zu vermeiden.

Der Schlüssel ist jedoch, dass wir uns jetzt den Konsequenzen der von uns ergriffenen Maßnahmen stellen müssen. Abgebildetes Foto einer Ladenschließung

Der Schlüssel ist jedoch, dass wir uns jetzt den Konsequenzen der von uns ergriffenen Maßnahmen stellen müssen. Abgebildetes Foto einer Ladenschließung

Wir wissen jetzt, dass Covid-19 ein sehr geringes Risiko für gesunde Erwachsene unter 40 Jahren darstellt. Das Risiko für Jugendliche und Kinder ist noch geringer.

Das Durchschnittsalter der Menschen, die Covid-19 erliegen, beträgt 79 Jahre und 7 Monate.

Derzeit sind nur fünf von 10.000 Menschen in England und Wales infiziert, sodass die Wahrscheinlichkeit, jemandem mit Coronavirus zu begegnen, sehr gering ist.

Sogar die Herdenimmunität scheint jetzt erreichbarer zu sein. Antikörpertests zeigen, dass zwischen 10 und 16 Prozent der Londoner Bevölkerung immun sind.

Jüngste Ergebnisse des schwedischen Karolinska-Instituts legen jedoch nahe, dass doppelt so viele Menschen eine Immunität gegen T-Zellen entwickeln wie gegen Antikörper.

Für London ist die Krise möglicherweise bereits vorbei.

Unsere Laboratorien sollten dringend mit der Überprüfung der T-Zell-Immunität beginnen.

Der Schlüssel ist jedoch, dass wir uns jetzt den Konsequenzen der von uns ergriffenen Maßnahmen stellen müssen. Indem wir die Wirtschaft nicht wieder öffnen, töten wir Menschen.

Konservative und Arbeiter sind jetzt in einer neuen Meinungsumfrage auf STUFE, wobei nur die Hälfte der Wähler den Umgang der Regierung mit Coronaviren unterstützt

von Jack Wright für MailOnline

Die Konservative Partei und die Labour Party befinden sich jetzt in einer schockierenden neuen Meinungsumfrage, die wahrscheinlich Alarmglocken in Boris Johnsons durcheinandergebrachtem Lager auslösen wird.

Die Schnappschuss-Umfrage des Meinungsforschers Opinium beziffert beide Parteien auf jeweils 40 Prozent, wenn es um Abstimmungsabsichten geht.

Es ist das erste Mal seit 13 Monaten, dass die Konservativen in einer Opinium-Umfrage der Labour Party von Sir Keir Starmer nicht voraus waren.

Die neue Umfrage folgt der Kritik am Umgang der Regierung mit der Coronavirus-Krise, einschließlich des fehlgeschlagenen Test- und Trace-Systems und des Fiaskos bei Prüfungen.

Die Konservative Partei und die Labour Party befinden sich jetzt in einer neuen Meinungsumfrage, die in Boris Johnsons durcheinandergebrachtem Lager wahrscheinlich Alarmglocken auslösen wird (Bild: Das Treffen der Veteranen des Premierministers zum 75. Jahrestag des VJ-Tages in Alrewas am 15. August 2020).

Die Konservative Partei und die Labour Party befinden sich jetzt in einer neuen Meinungsumfrage, die in Boris Johnsons durcheinandergebrachtem Lager wahrscheinlich Alarmglocken auslösen wird (Bild: Das Treffen der Veteranen des Premierministers zum 75. Jahrestag des VJ-Tages in Alrewas am 15. August 2020).

Die Schnappschuss-Umfrage des Meinungsforschers Opinium beziffert beide Parteien auf jeweils 40 Prozent, wenn es um Abstimmungsabsichten geht. Es ist das erste Mal seit 13 Monaten, dass die Konservativen in einer Opinium-Umfrage der Labour Party von Sir Keir Starmer nicht voraus waren (Kredit: Opinium).

Die Schnappschuss-Umfrage des Meinungsforschers Opinium beziffert beide Parteien auf jeweils 40 Prozent, wenn es um Abstimmungsabsichten geht. Es ist das erste Mal seit 13 Monaten, dass die Konservativen in einer Opinium-Umfrage der Labour Party von Sir Keir Starmer nicht voraus waren (Kredit: Opinium).

Fast die Hälfte der Wähler, 4 Prozent, missbilligen den Umgang der Regierung mit Coronaviren, verglichen mit weniger als einem Drittel, 31 Prozent, die zustimmen (Kredit: Opinium).

Fast die Hälfte der Wähler, 4 Prozent, missbilligen den Umgang der Regierung mit Coronaviren, verglichen mit weniger als einem Drittel, 31 Prozent, die zustimmen (Kredit: Opinium).

Die Abgeordneten bereiten sich darauf vor, am Dienstag nach Westminster zurückzukehren. Wütende Konservative beschuldigen die Regierung, ruderlos zu sein.

Charles Walker, stellvertretender Vorsitzender des Komitees der Tory-Hinterbänke von 1922, sagte, eine Reihe von Kehrtwende habe zu Verzweiflung in der Partei geführt.

„Zu oft sieht es so aus, als ob diese Regierung ihren Finger leckt und ihn in die Luft steckt, um zu sehen, in welche Richtung der Wind weht. This is not a sustainable way to approach the business of governing and government,' he told The Observer.

'It is becoming increasingly difficult for backbenchers now to promote and defend government policy as so often that policy is changed or abandoned without notice. Whether this approach is by design or by accident, the climate of uncertainty it creates is unsustainable and erodes morale.'

Nearly half of voters, 4 per cent, disapprove of the Government's handling of coronavirus, compared to less than a third, 31 per cent, who approve.

With English schools reopening next week, 63 per cent of parents with school age children say it is safe for primary schools to do so. And 60 per cent back pupils returning to secondary schools, according to the poll.

Adam Drummond of Opinium said: 'This is the first time Labour have drawn level since July 2019 when both main parties were in freefall and losing votes to the Brexit party and the Liberal Democrats' (pictured: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, August 6, 2020)

Adam Drummond of Opinium said: 'This is the first time Labour have drawn level since July 2019 when both main parties were in freefall and losing votes to the Brexit party and the Liberal Democrats' (pictured: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, August 6, 2020)

Nearly half of voters, 4 per cent, disapprove of the Government's handling of coronavirus, compared to less than a third, 31 per cent, who approve (credit: Opinium)

Nearly half of voters, 4 per cent, disapprove of the Government's handling of coronavirus, compared to less than a third, 31 per cent, who approve (credit: Opinium)

Boris Johnson's approval rating has gone down since he left hospital in April (credit: Opinium)

Boris Johnson's approval rating has gone down since he left hospital in April (credit: Opinium)

Opinium carried out the survey of 2,002 UK adults between August 26-28 (credit: Opinium)

Opinium carried out the survey of 2,002 UK adults between August 26-28 (credit: Opinium)

But pupils aged between 14 and 15 appear most concerned about returning to class as 45 per cent of parents with children in this age group say their child is worried, against to 48 per cent who say they are not.

More than half of adults surveyed, 52 per cent, support making face masks compulsory for children in school, with 22 per cent neither supporting nor opposing, and 19 per cent against such a move.

When it comes to the parents of school age children, 42 per cent back the idea, and 22 per cent oppose it.

The survey has bad news for under-fire Education Secretary Gavin Williamson as 48 per cent disapprove of the way he is handling his job, and 40 per cent say he is most responsible for the recent exam results fiasco.

Adam Drummond of Opinium said: 'This is the first time Labour have drawn level since July 2019 when both main parties were in freefall and losing votes to the Brexit party and the Liberal Democrats.

'Since Boris Johnson became prime minister the Tories typically had a double digit lead, peaking in March/April this year when they were seen to be handling the pandemic and lockdown fairly well while Labour changed leader.

'In the five months since that peak, the lead has gradually declined from 26 per cent to 0 per cent now.'

Opinium carried out an online survey of 2,002 UK adults between August 26-28.

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