[audioplayer src="http://rss.acast.com/spectatorpolitics/summerbudget2015/media.mp3" title="Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman discuss the Summer Budget"]
[/audioplayer]The morning after the election, Ed Miliband said that his party had lost the election but won the argument. He was mocked for this observation but surveying Osborne's summer budget, he may have a point. It was cleverly spun: the tax-cut for Middle England trumpeted this morning has turned out to be a run-of-the-mill 1.2pc revision to the 40p threshold, not even in line with earnings. Clever old George.
In fact, the first all-Conservative Budget for a generation has seen the Chancellor accept many of Labour's arguments, moving to the left with a tax-and-spend budget and putting his tanks on the centre ground, facing leftwards. The following ideas ought to be cheered by any Labour supporter with a smidgeon of intellectual honesty:-
4. Whack the non-doms! He won’t quite abolish them, as Ed Miliband was planning to, but he increase the tax they pay on their worldwide income, and insist they pay inheritance tax on UK property.
5. Whack hedge funds and private equity firms! They’ll be hit for £375m for capital gains tax and other little stings. And there's a new bank supertax of 8pc.
6. Apprentice Levy: Labour demanded that every company trained an apprentice for every foreigner hired. Osborne has gone further, imposing a special tax on businesses, to fund 3m apprenticeships. As per Alison Wolf’s recent report.
Imagine the reaction in the Tory (and Labour) press if Chancellor Ed Balls had announced all that.