Last Minute Impact Assessment Nothing More than Advocacy Document

Hours before MPs are set to vote on the future of Sunday trading regulations in England and Wales, the Government have published its impact assessment on the proposals.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “This so-called impact assessment does nothing more than reiterate the Government’s shoddy decade old evidence for change, whilst continuing to ignore the concerns of shop workers, retailers and consumers. For the Government to release this assessment mere minutes before the debate on Sunday trading is a disgrace.”

The impact assessment frequently refers to the growth of the convenience sector in the last ten years to justify its proposals, claiming that stores will benefit as a result of change. The assessment also attempts to dismiss evidence from Oxford Economics about the impact on small stores during the Olympics.

Mr Lowman continued: “The Oxford Economics research on the impact of the 2012 relaxation of Sunday trading was based on real sales data from thousands of convenience stores, and is far more recent and more credible data than anything used by the government during their consultation. Many convenience stores operate on the edge of profitability and opening large stores for longer will force retailers to make difficult decisions about their future.”

The impact assessment also makes reference to the family test, noting that ‘a large number of the individual respondents to the public consultation felt that families would be negatively affected’. Analysis from the Social Market Foundation in 2015 showed that the proposals disregard the family test.

Earlier today, Sky News reported that the Prime Minister met with the UK’s largest retailers about Sunday trading. According to the report, the PM was ‘taken aback’ by the strong feeling among these retailers that Sunday trading regulations should remain the same.

ACS is part of campaign group Keep Sunday Special, which has produced a myth buster on the Government’s proposals available here:


This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 09/03/2016 - 12:31