Guernsey Sunday trading law review dropped

Categories: United Nations

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A planned review of Guernsey’s Sunday trading laws has been dropped, after the Commerce and Employment board announced its priorities for 2012-16.

Deputy Kevin Stewart, the department’s minister since 1 May, said the review was “not a priority work stream”.

Commerce and Employment announced in March that it would carry out a public consultation by the end of the year.

Under the current laws, grocery stores with floor spaces larger than 400 sq m (4,300 sq ft) cannot open on Sundays.

In 2010, the department carried out an online survey of 460 islanders, which showed 73% supported shops of any size being allowed to trade.

‘Taking money’

Deputy Stewart said the department would instead “focus on things that are going to drive the economy forward”.

“We only have so many law officers, so many people in our department and my board only has so much time,” he said.

Deputy Stewart said he would instead adopt three main priorities:

He said he wanted to introduce 4G mobile phone technology before the UK, by freeing up broadcast frequencies previously used by analogue television.

He wanted to find suitable land for use by small, industrial businesses.

And he wanted to prevent trades people coming to Guernsey from the UK to carry out work without paying tax.

“They’re not bringing anything to the economy. They’re taking money out,” he said.