Wednesday 22 November 2017

Osborne to ease Sunday opening hours in Budget

George Osborne
George Osborne

Svenja O'Donnell

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is set to give mayors and local governments the power to allow shops to open for longer on Sundays.

Its claimed the move could help create 3,000 jobs.

The decision, to be announced in today's budget, will allow local authorities to permit longer Sunday opening if they expect it to boost economic activity in their areas, according to a Conservative Party briefing note.

The budget is the first since the Conservatives came to power in May as a single party government, having previously formed part of a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

As such, Mr Osborne is under pressure to deliver on core "Tory" values including reducing income tax, tackling welfare payments and liberalising trade.

UK law currently prevents larger stores from opening for more than six hours on Sundays. It was relaxed during the 2012 London Olympics, resulting in a surge in sales.

"Even two decades on from the introduction of the Sunday Trading Act, it is clear that there is still a growing appetite for shopping on a Sunday," Osborne said in a statement.

"There is some evidence that transactions for Sunday shopping are actually growing faster than those for Saturday.

"The rise of online shopping, which people can do round the clock, also means more retailers want to be able to compete by opening for longer at the weekend."

Mr Osborne will also pushed for more powers to be devolved to cities.

Irish Independent

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