There is a lot of heat in the Sejm over the Sunday trading ban. “He led to the fall of 30,000. stores”

There is a lot of heat in the Sejm over the Sunday trading ban.  “He led to the fall of 30,000.  stores"

Heated discussion in the Sejm around the bill liberalizing the ban on Sunday trading. Poland 2050 Project, which includes, among others: The introduction of two shopping Sundays a month is not supported by the Left, but thanks to the support of the Confederation, work on the act will probably continue.

On Thursday, the Sejm debated a parliamentary bill providing for the liberalization of the provisions regarding the Sunday trading ban. It assumes the introduction of two commercial Sundays a month and the introduction of a double rate for those working on the last day of the week.

Liberalization of the act on the ban on Sunday trading. “It's a debate about freedom”

The initiator of the project, Ryszard Petru from Poland 2050, emphasized during the debate that “today's debate on freeing trade on Sunday is more than just a discussion about shopping on Sunday.” – This is a debate about what kind of country Poland should be. Is it a country of freedom, a secular state, a country of economic growth, trust and prosperity, or a country of prohibitions, penalties, a country promoting scheming, a country where the earning potential and freedom of Poles are limited in the name of ideology? This is a debate about how deeply the state should regulate our lives – telling us how to live, how to work, how to spend our time. This is a debate about freedom, about individual freedom, which in recent years has been replaced by the omnipotence of the state – Petru said.

The politician pointed out that Poles still have the opportunity to do Sunday shopping, pointing to grocery chains where trading is possible on that day. He reminded about statutory exceptions to the trading ban on the last day of the week. As he emphasized, approximately 10,000 people use them. stores in Poland.

Do we pay more on Sunday?

Petru pointed out that “Poles pay much more for the same products on Sunday than on other days of the week.” In his opinion, the act on the ban on Sunday trading is really about money. – The idea is for someone to make money from the fact that Poles pay much more on Sunday than on other days, and that you can earn more from Poles on Sunday. This is the effect of the trade ban. The trade ban was only to make Polish stores disappear and foreign chains develop, because they have money to promote shopping on Saturday – said the MP.

Petru argued that the ban on Sunday trading “led to the collapse of 30,000 stores in Poland” (last year alone there were 3,000 of them) and contributed to the dominance of “two discount stores and Żabka”. The initiator of the project indicated that the proposed changes would create 20,000 jobs. new jobs in trade and increase in trade turnover by approximately PLN 25 billion. He announced his readiness to discuss possible changes to the project.

PiS MP Jan Mosiński emphasized that the act introduced in 2018 concerns a restriction and not a ban on Sunday trading. – There is no such thing as a ban on trading on Sunday, because the act contains over 30 exceptions, but also provides for the possibility of trading on specific days – said Mosiński.

According to the MP, we currently have a balance between “the interests of consumers and the interests of traders”. – With your project, you are destroying these relationships, demolishing the already accepted model that works perfectly – said the PiS MP. – The Law and Justice Club is convinced that the draft of this act not only violates the constitution, but is unacceptable and should end up in the trash – added.

Izabela Mrzygłocka from the Civic Coalition pointed out that the act, which has been in force for six years, “did not meet the expectations of its creators”. – It was supposed to support family stores, and according to statistics, in recent years we have seen their liquidation on a large scale. Some large chain stores have transformed into pseudo-restaurants, even libraries (…) thus circumventing the applicable law – said a member of parliament from the ruling party.

Mrzygłocka pointed out that Poles are divided on the Sunday trading ban, so it is worth considering the idea of ​​relaxing the regulations. – It is worth starting a renewed discussion that will allow us to see how the introduction of commercial Sundays today will affect the labor market and small local businesses. We will then gain knowledge that will help us decide what to do next – should the Sunday trading ban be finally abolished or should the regulations be tightened? – said the KO MP, emphasizing that there was no such discussion when the current regulations were introduced.

Elżbieta Burkiewicz from Poland 2050 also drew attention to the fact that the law on the ban on Sunday trading did not improve the situation of small shops. However, in the opinion of the MP, it contributed to “promoting combinations and unfair competition”. The proposed changes mean a compromise, which – as the MP said – will be welcomed by the majority of Polish women and men. – The Poland 2050 project is right, rational, and a change that will contribute to economic growth and stimulate the economy – said Burkiewicz.

The left wants the ban to be tightened

The Left sees the proposal for changes differently. Arkadiusz Sikora, an MP from this party, argued that we should discuss whether to introduce a trading ban on all Sundays and “not return to the past by restoring Sunday trading.”

– We should discuss tightening the currently applicable regulations, which are being evaded and violated by many retail chains and supermarkets, as a result of which the current act is a fiction – Sikora said. – The presented bill is socially harmful, which is why we are submitting a motion to reject it in the first reading – added.

Przemysław Wipler from Konfederacja drew attention to the issue of the disappearance of 30,000 people. small shops during the PiS government. However, during this period – as the MP pointed out – two retail chains were built – CVC (owner of Żabka) and Eurocash, whose stores are open on Sundays.

– You have created regulations that allow the massacre of small shops to continue – said Wipler. – The regulations that are currently in place are pathological and have undesirable consequences. Therefore, we will want to discuss this bill further – added.

The Confederation's support will most likely ensure that work on the bill will continue.

Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, the Minister of Labor, who appeared in the final part of the debate, did not hide her reservation towards the project. It indicated that the changes were opposed by trade employees, but also by entrepreneurs, both “small, medium and large”, as well as the retail chains themselves, as well as Poles. The changes are supported by shopping malls.

Each legislation should meet some important social need. Is such an important need the need of shopping malls, which stands in contrast to the needs of other actors? – asked the head of the Ministry of Labor.

Poles on Sunday trading ban

A recent survey by SW Research for “Wprost” shows that nearly half of Poles want to restore shopping Sundays. When asked “Are you in favor of lifting the ban on Sunday trading?” 46.1% answered affirmatively. respondents. 36.1% were of the opposite opinion. respondents, and 17.8 percent had no opinion on this matter.

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