London 2012: Sunday trading law suspension bid during Olympics
Sunday trading laws are to be suspended on eight weekends from 22 July during the Olympics and Paralympics, the chancellor is expected to announce.
It would require emergency legislation which officials hope to pass by Easter.
Ministers hope the move would boost shopping, while Labour indicated it would consider the proposal before deciding whether or not to back it.
The Sunday Trading Act 1994 states that large shops over 280 square metres in England and Wales are restricted to six hours of continuous trading between 10:00 and 18:00 on Sundays.
And they cannot open at all on Easter Sunday.
By temporarily suspending these rules, the government hopes hundreds of thousands of visitors who head to London for the sporting spectacle will take advantage of late-night shopping in the West End, boosting flagging retail figures.
There is also optimism that people throughout England and Wales will visit supermarkets, garden centres and DIY stores on the lighter summer evenings.
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Although the relaxation would be temporary, the Treasury is expected to closely monitor its effects and a permanent move has not been ruled out if it proves a success.Tory MP Nadine Dorries predicted that Mr Osborne would "face a barrage of criticism" as a result of the move.
She posted on Twitter: "Arrogant to impose without debate and vote of whole house.
"Is the coalition government secretly implementing an anti-Christian agenda. And if so, who is driving it, Cameron and Osborne or the LDs?"
Last year, Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey warned that a temporary lifting for the Games was likely to lead to a permanent change and could stop staff enjoying the "once-in-a-lifetime" chance to enjoy the sporting spectacle.
She had been responding to a bid by party colleague Mark Menzies to make the change with his own Bill.
Mr Menzies said he was "absolutely delighted" that the plan was now being taken up by the Mr Osborne, adding that it would "send out a very powerful message that Britain is open for business".
The MP for Fylde, whose professional background is in retail, said he had been told an estimated 1,700 extra part-time jobs could possibly be created as a result at the new shopping centre near the Olympic park.
And he said he had "no desire at this stage" to see the looser rules applied beyond August.