This cartoon by Adams from The Daily Telegraph relates to the announcement by UK Chancellor George Osborne (pictured left in the cartoon) that he is to lift the six-hour limit on opening hours for larger stores over eight weekends in July, August and September. The move, which brought protests from Labour, church leaders and trades unions, is designed to coincide with London’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Full story >>
Under the Sunday Trading Act 1994, large shops over 280 square metres in England and Wales are restricted to six hours’ continuous trading between 10am and 6pm on Sundays and cannot open at all on Easter Sunday. But any change will alarm the owners of small stores, which can open all day on Sunday and benefit from the restriction on their large rivals. The cartoon shows a row of such small High Street stores, all which have closed down or gone bust (either because they can't compete with the bigger stores, or because of the financial crisis). Osborne's comment that 'Sunday will be like any other day for our shops' is therefore unintentionally ironic.
• Osborne's Sunday opening plan controversial (The Independent)
• Osborne plans new Sunday trading laws during Olympics (BBC News video)
• Shopworkers' union attacks plan for longer Sunday trading during Olympics (The Guardian)
• Whatever happened to Sundays? (The Guardian)