Caroline Flint has branded the Chancellor’s plans to give local councils the powers to extend Sunday trading hours “complete nonsense”.
The Don Valley MP said: “The Chancellor is hoping that a minority of councils try to gain an advantage for a particular town centre, seaside resort or market town by extending the Sunday opening hours. He knows that once that starts it will create a domino effect where neighbouring councils feel pressured to make the change.
“77% of the public support the current law and have expressed no desire for even longer Sunday shopping hours. Nor will they have a penny extra to spend as a result of longer opening hours. The people who will lose out are the shop workers who feel pressured to work longer on a Sunday and small businesses who feel pressure to open because of other outlets near them doing so. It won’t improve anyone’s quality of life. It is another race to the bottom from a Chancellor who doesn’t know what life is like for many shopworkers.
“The Sunday Trading laws have been in place for over 20 years, and under the guise of devolving powers, the Chancellor is stirring up a hornet’s nest. It is complete nonsense and I hope the small and large businesses, Chambers of Commerce and local councils give the Government a resounding NO.”
Nearly seven out of ten shopworkers surveyed in 2014 already felt pressured to work on Sundays when they did not want to. And nearly nine out of ten feel this will only get worse if Sunday trading laws are deregulated.
NOTE TO EDITORS
The current law limits Sunday opening to 6 hours for all large stores (stores the size of a tennis court or bigger), with exemptions for smaller convenience stores.