Budget proposes longer opening hours on Sundays


Shops could be allowed to open for longer on Sundays thanks to a shake-up of trading laws by Chancellor George Osborne.

It is expected to be announced in tomorrow’s budget that elected mayors and councils will have the power to decide how long shops can stay open.

As it stands, smaller shops are allowed to open all day, but those over 280 sq m (3,000 sq ft) must close after six hours.

Mr Osborne says that there is a “growing appetite” for Sunday shopping, but it is down to Britain’s towns and cities to determine their own future.

He said: “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. 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. But this won’t be right for every area, so I want to devolve the power to make this decision to mayors and local authorities.

“This will be another part of my plan to ensure a truly national recovery, with our great towns and cities able to determine their own futures.”

> Would you like Milton Keynes Council to allow its shops to have longer opening hours on Sundays?