Keep Sundays Special- Say No to Longer Opening Hours

Posted on 3 March 2016 (Permalink)

“I oppose the Government’s proposal to extend Sunday trading hours. The Tories are once again shoving through a bill that is ill-thought-out and unwanted by the people.” said Graham Allen MP.

On 2nd February 2016 the Government announced its plans to bring forward measures in the Enterprise Bill [HL] 2015-16 to allow local authorities to extend Sunday trading laws. Extending Sunday trading will lead to longer opening hours, which would be detrimental to shop workers, small business owners and their families.  Extended hours on Sundays could very well lead to closures of smaller stores. Shops are open long enough for people do shop, and Sunday should remain a special day. 

The Sunday Trading Act of 1994 that currently regulates Sunday opening hours is a perfect compromise.  It allows retailers to trade, staff to work and customers to shop while ensuring that Sunday remains a special day for everyone to spend with their families. A poll conducted in February 2015 found that a large majority of the public support these existing Sunday trading rules. Before 2015 General Election the Conservative Party claimed that it had no plans to change the current rules on Sunday trading because the current rules provided "a reasonable balance". Yet, the Government is now doing just what it said it would not.

“The Government has gone back on its promise to leave current Sunday trade regulations unchanged.  The Tories’ decision to bring forward these changes at this late stage of the Enterprise Bill's passage is absurd. It is clear that these changes would be detrimental.  When will the Government stop pushing through harmful laws that go against the will of the public?” Graham added.