George Osborne’s announcement that Sunday trading laws are to be relaxed during the Olympics has just been through the House of Lords for a second reading.
The proposal seems to have sent ripples through the retail industry, religious groups and the public at large, but isn’t the onus on people to choose for themselves how they spend their Sundays?
Those voicing their concerns include some small shopkeepers who worry that lifting the six-hour limit on opening hours for shops over 280 square metres will have a negative impact on their trade.
Members of the clergy are worried this may be a precursor to a permanent change which could hamper quality family time – and may stop some people attending church. Others claim that those working in retail will be adversely affected unless there is a more robust system in place whereby employees could refuse to work on Sundays.
The fact is that Osborne’s news only concerns eight Sundays from July 22.
It is being billed as a much-needed boost for larger retailers whose profits have been hit by the recession, unemployment, high inflation and public long-term worries over financial security – all of which has curtailed consumer spending.