Monday, December 01, 2008

Something for Phil, Tel and Stu to think about

In the UK, it is illegal for large shops to trade for more than six hours on Sundays.

Clearly, those who don't want to shop or work on Sundays should be free not to.  But, equally, it is wrong to prevent those who want to from doing so.

It occurred to me over lunch yesterday that now is the perfect time for the large retailers to force a change to the law.

Imagine the situation:

If Phil, Tel and Stu were to open their stores for a full day on Sunday, what would happen?

Would we really have the spectacle of the state prosecuting companies who were doing what they could to increase employment, offer additional opportunities for their staff to earn money in these DifficultTimes* and provide additional opportunities for consumers to help keep the economy Moving Forward**?

The only face-saving way out of it for the government would be to accept the economic argument and repeal the ban.

So, go on, guys.... do it!




* Trademark of HM Government.

** What does it mean for an economy to "move", never mind move forward?


IanVisits said...

I doubt it would create extra employment though - as an extra couple of hours on a Sunday is not enough to require additional staff.

I suspect that we have pushed the customer facing service industry as far as possible in liberalising the market from a job creation perspective and any extra hours would simple dilute the existing workload a bit.

Not to mention, the religious lobby can still muster formidable lobbying clout when it wants - and it was they who kept Sunday trading to 6 hours (and closed on Easter Sunday).

Having been a law breaker when Sunday Trading was illegal and I worked in retail (we co-ordinated an entire town centre to open on Sundays in December one year and the council decided to look the other way), I am sympathetic to the argument that the hours should be more relaxed.

I just don't think it'll actually create any more jobs.

Richard Brown said...

Fair points....

My aim in this area is mostly to increase freedom, with the other outcomes being pleasant side effects.

IanVisits said...

Absolutely agree with liberalising restrictive practices.