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Changes to Sunday opening hours

Home / News & Views / Siobhain's views / Changes to Sunday opening hours

31 December 2015

A temporary extension to Sunday trading hours in England and Wales was introduced by the Government for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic games earlier this year. But the government now hopes to make these changes permanent. 

However, even big businesses have expressed concern about these changes. Most recently, Justin King, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, warned a permanent extension to Sunday trading hours was “not a magic answer to economic regeneration.”

Myself and the Labour Party are not in favour of the Conservatives’ proposed changes. Extending Sunday trading hours on a permanent basis will go against the consensus that was built after last year’s proper consultation over a long period of time of businesses, unions, churches and other organisations. This consultation concluded that most people do not want longer trading hours on a Sunday.

I believe that Sundays are really important, not only to families and churches, but all those who work flat out the rest of the week. The changes would introduce 24 hour working across all of the retail sector seven days a week – which I do not believe is in the interests of anything except profit-making. 

I sincerely hope that the current restrictions will stay in place to protect families, employees, small businesses, maintaining at least some distinctiveness for Sunday. I will therefore be voting against these proposals when they come to Parliament.