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Economic Trends

Volume 605: debated on Wednesday 10 February 2016

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has had a number of discussions with business organisations, including the Institute of Directors, the Scotch Whisky Association and Oil and Gas UK. It is because of this Government’s commitment to our long-term economic plan and economic prosperity that we have seen such growth in the Scottish economy. Thank goodness that the good people of Scotland voted to stay within a United Kingdom and reject independence.

Research by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers shows that Scottish shop workers could lose up to £1,300 annually as stores increasingly abandon their additional Sunday pay rates in the light of the proposed Sunday trading regulations. Will the Minister take up these concerns with the Business Secretary?

I did not hear all that my hon. Friend said, but I can tell her that we intend to devolve power down to local authorities, so that they make the decisions on what is in the best interests of people locally. That includes local people who may want to shop on a Sunday and the interests of businesses that may want to open more liberally on a Sunday to take full advantage. I think that is a good idea. I hope that my hon. Friend might consider supporting it.