Don't Change Sunday Trading - Keep Sunday For Rest, Family and Worship
The UK Government is now engaged in a public consultation process on the issue of changing Sunday Trading hours. The major proposed change has to do with allowing large (mostly chain) stores, which measure over 3000 sq. feet, to open for more than 6 hours on Sundays.
In a rare show of solidarity, the Church of England, along with several trade unions and small business-owners' associations, have all come out against the proposed changes by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his Ministry's Departments of Business, Innovation and Skills, and Communities and Local Government. Please see the actual proposal below, as well as the official Response Form.
The current law on Sunday Trading forms a good, common sense compromise between a variety of competing demands in a pluralistic society such as today's UK.
This petition, therefore, sends an email-petition to both Chancellor, George Osborne and his "Sunday Trading Team", asking them to scrap the idea of extending Sunday Trading hours for the following reasons:
First and foremost, our current law allows for a decent work-life/work-family balance to exist. By limiting the number of hours during which large, High St. stores can open, the current regulations allow individuals and families to make priorities of rest, family-time and worship on Sundays.
These are priorities which the Government should be seeking to promote.
People are not simply "economic factors" or consumers, but rather, human beings whose end in life is not simply to work and consume, 24/7.
And, sensible laws, like the ones currently on the books, also allow time for family-and-community-building to take place. More than anything else, getting to know one's family and one's neighbours takes time.
Second, the status quo law protects the interests of small shop owners against the financial superiority of large, chain stores. And, whereas, this is not generally about promoting protectionist policies in the free market, government and society must, at times, set limits which the market would not otherwise obey. Doing so, in this case, is in society's best interest - and is not necessarily measurable in pounds and pence.
It stands to reason, however, that if large shops are allowed to open longer hours, it will necessarily mean that small shops will lose custom. And, deliberately hurting small businesses is a foolish thing to do, especially as small businesses are oftentimes the drivers of local economies.
Third, neither large-shop staff, nor consumers, want this change. A recent survey of shop-workers showed that 93% do not wish to see Sunday hours extended. And, a different, recent survery of the general public showed that 76% of people are satisfied with the current trading regulations.
Both of these surveys show that the push to change Sunday Trading hours is not a bottom-up decision, but top-down. And, it is very likely that most of the people making these decisions will not be working the shop-floor on Sundays, but rather, will be at home with their kids.
For all of these reasons, let's keep the current trading hours we have! Let's show the world that our top priorities are our people!
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No Change to Sunday Trading - Keep Sunday Free