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My Lords, I had no intention of speaking in this debate, but I rise having represented the West Midlands for 15 years in the European Parliament. As a non-aligned Member, I would still like to call the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, my noble friend, because this is an eminently sensible idea. The proposal, as outlined and supported by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Birmingham, builds on that in asking for a pilot. I urge the Government to think about it. The only thing that I would suggest, coming from a working-class background in the East End, is to make it a bit more attractive by, instead of £1, making it 99p.
As my noble friend Lord Rooker said, this sort of tax works in thriving economies in other parts of the world. Many tourists and many participants in sports and events in our cities do not begrudge the payment because they see where it is going. I urge the Government not to dismiss this out of hand, to embrace the suggestion of a pilot scheme and then to come back to your Lordships’ House.