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20 August 2015

Government urged to keep current Sunday trading laws

Government urged to keep current Sunday trading laws

In the last budget, the government announced there will be a consultation on transferring Sunday trading rules to local authorities. This is likely to see current Sunday trading hours extended above their current six hour limit.

The consultation is open until Wednesday, 16 September. You can respond to the consultation here. It will only take a few minutes as it's a set of multi-choice questions.

Before the general election, David Cameron told the Keep Sunday Special campaign, which the Alliance supports: "I can assure you that we have no current plans to relax the Sunday trading laws. We believe that the current system provides a reasonable balance between those who wish to see more opportunity to shop in large stores on a Sunday, and those who would like to see further restrictions."

There is little evidence that people have been calling on their MPs to extend the Sunday hours and keeping the current limit on Sunday trading hours will promote family values.

The plans have also provoked criticism from trade unions and three of Labour's leadership candidates.

Leadership contender Andy Burnham tweeted that Sunday was the only day people who worked in shops could bank on some time with their kids. "I will oppose this all the way," he said.

Another leadership contender, Liz Kendall, said the Sunday Trading Act worked: "Retailers can trade, customers can shop, shop workers can spend time with their families, why change it?"

The Evangelical Alliance will be responding to the consultation and urges others to do so, too.

John Ashcroft of Keep Sunday Special says: "It is hugely disappointing that this government should be trying yet again to fundamentally alter the balance and harmony of our national life in such an underhand manner.

"Keep Sunday Special believes in having time for family, friends and community. We believe in time to rest and enjoy ourselves. We believe in working hard and living life to the full. We believe in keeping just one day a week a bit special.

"There need to be some limits to protect the things that matter most - people who need to relax at the same time as the rest of us, families that need to spend time together - especially those with children, communities that need to be preserved, relationships that need protection, local businesses that need to be given a fair chance to survive and thrive, and we need to respect the views of people of faith."

You can respond to the consultation here.