Sunday shopping changes delayed

Cabinet plans to clamp down on local councils which wrongly allow shops to open on Sundays will be delayed for at least a year because of the recession, economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven said on Tuesday.

In their coalition agreement, the three government parties agreed to take action to stop councils claiming their towns are tourist centres in order to allow Sunday opening.
Tougher definitions of a tourist area will now come into effect in January 2011, which is election year.
Currently, shops in areas not considered to be tourist centres are only allowed to open on 12 Sundays a year.
The government’s macro-economic policy unit CPB had calculated tougher restrictions would cost up to 2,000 jobs but that the effect on the economy would be limited, news agency ANP said.
Verhagen, herself a Christian Democrat, is under pressure from orthodox Christian parties, including coalition partner ChristenUnie, to crack down on abuses.

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