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Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:58 pm on 22nd March 2016.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, Bedford 3:58 pm, 22nd March 2016

I could not be more delighted to have given way to the hon. Lady, because she is quite right. The sugar tax is a passion of TV chef Mr Jamie Oliver, who is just the latest in a line of celebrities—think of people such as Mr Russell Brand and Mr Benedict Cumberbatch—to use their position to influence public policy. To quote TheIndependent, the

“chief beneficiaries of star-studded attempts to raise the profile of a good cause are the celebrity themselves”.

Can we have a new levy on policy pronouncements by well-heeled celebrities who sprinkle their fame to dazzle Ministers into ill-thought-through changes? The levy could pay for the unintended consequences for the public of their brief, highly jaundiced opinions. Emma Thompson’s pronouncements alone should secure the defence budget.