The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has heavily criticised plans introduced in the Budget to allow local authorities to decide whether to remove Sunday Trading rules.

During today’s Budget, the Chancellor confirmed that the Government will seek to devolve powers to change Sunday Trading rules to local authorities as part of the Enterprise Bill.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are extremely disappointed that this Government has failed to keep its promise to thousands of independent retailers on Sunday Trading. Current Sunday Trading rules are a popular measure with the general public, with fewer than one in ten people wanting to see the rules abandoned. The plans outlined today will serve only to displace trade from small stores into larger stores, and could make many small stores operating on the edge of profitability unviable.

“ACS will fight this unnecessary, complicated and harmful plan and will campaign throughout the year to ensure that our existing Sunday Trading rules are retained.”