Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Business leaders push for permanent Jubilee holiday despite UK Gov denying Wales St David’s Day off

02 Jun 2022 4 minutes Read
Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

The UK Government are considering renewed calls from business leaders to make the extra Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday a permanent feature, despite denying Wales the chance to take St David’s Day off.

An official impact assessment has suggested that there could be a boost for the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors, as well as mental health and wellbeing, from taking the number of bank holidays in England and Wales from eight to nine.

Business leaders, broadcasters and heads of charities have now signed an open letter calling on them to create a bank holiday recognising “community and service in all its forms”.

The signatories include the chairman of ITV, General Lord Dannatt, Tony Danker, and the director-general of the CBI, Sir Peter Bazalgette.

They say in the letter: “As we start a weekend of unprecedented national celebrations we write as a group of leaders from across businesses, charities, trade unions and the arts to urge the government to help maintain this spirit of community in the years to come.

“The pandemic showed us how dependent we are on each other but too often we take community for granted and don’t recognise the importance it has in both our personal and national wellbeing.

“There are of course many ways to address this but one of them is to create a day in our national calendar that recognises community and service in all its forms, from the key workers to volunteers and simply good neighbours.”

It has previously been reported that Boris Johnson are supportive of the move, but that Chancellor Rishi Sunak was “looking carefully” at the proposals.

‘Well established’

Wales and England only have eight bank holidays, the fewest in Europe, while Scotland has nine and Northern Ireland 10, as both are given their own national days off.

The move to create a new bank holiday in June comes despite the UK Government rejecting calls for St David’s Day to be made a bank holiday in Wales In response to a petition which had been signed by over 12,000 people.

Responding to the petition, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:   “Although an additional bank holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy of an additional bank holiday remains considerable.

“The latest analysis estimates the cost for a one-off bank holiday (across the whole of the UK) to be around £2bn.

“The Government regularly receives requests for additional bank and public holidays to celebrate a variety of occasions. However, the current pattern of bank holidays is well established and accepted.”

The Welsh Government said that they had asked “time after time” for the power to denote 1 March a bank holiday. The idea is due to be discussed again in the Senedd on Wednesday.

But the campaign has gathered steam this year as a series of councils and public bodies in Wales backed the idea.

Gwynedd Council, Aberystwyth town council and Snowdonia National Park have already announced that staff will be given the day off.

Neath Port Talbot Council have also agreed to compile a report into giving council staff a day off on St David’s Day and also to lobby both the Welsh and UK Government to devolve the power to the Senedd. Caerphilly Council has also said that it would lobby both governments.

The move was originally backed by Gwynedd Council after Cllr Dafydd Meurig, the council’s deputy leader, said that he believed that Wales could “benefit economically” if St David’s Day celebration became widespread in the country.

“That would be the ideal and ensure that all workers from all sectors have a national holiday to celebrate St David’s Day on the first of March,” he said.

“If Ireland’s St Patrick’s public holiday is anything to go by, there is the potential there for Wales to benefit economically.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
29 days ago

“Hooray for the queen and f*** the Taffs!”
Toast from the CBI and Tory Sunday dinner last week…..probably.

Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago

The Tory part would be against this, simply because of “the cost”, we can not afford such frivolity, English taxes paying for the Celts to have a knees up. Never.

George
George
29 days ago

Or we could make each of the Saints’ day a bank holiday? It’s such an obvious win and only reason they’re not doing it is because Corbyn suggested it most prominently.

Tim
Tim
29 days ago

Lets have both.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
29 days ago

The UK Tory regime will never treat Wales equally until the Welsh peoples and government threaten to leave the UK as the Scottish government are doing right now.

When you have the leadership of Welsh Labour betraying Welsh interests to the UK regime this is unlikely to happen.

Mr Drakeford must now put to the UK Tory regime we want automony now or we want to leave the union. We can do this joint with Scotland.

Make sure they do not do a Putin on us !

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
29 days ago

Just take March First off. Richard Burton used to do it and put away prodigious amounts of alcoholic beverage. If he hadn’t been a film star one could say he was famous for it.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
29 days ago

So please could our erudite NC readers help me out with this logic problem. A bunch of Tory grandees want a regular June Bank Holiday because it would be so good for the tourism and hospitality industry. The Nation of Wales wants a Bank Holiday, which presumably would be good for the tousim and hospitality industry, but the Tory Governments says it cannot be afforded. So how can a Royalist annual holiday be afforded when a St David’s day holiday cannot?

Sophie
Sophie
29 days ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Lets do both enn

Llinos
Llinos
29 days ago

Get the holidays. Unilaterally rename it Cymru Rising weekend. Nothing the flag wavers can do to stop us if we choose to call it something else. I am not too worried about saints days because we are not a RC nation and I would rather it be something to celebrate the nation, rather than famous individuals. But that’s just my take on it.

Last edited 29 days ago by Llinos
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
29 days ago

Don’t worry when we gain independence it will all change. No more snubbing or neglect, our future in our own hands.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
29 days ago

Can someone help me with this? Did Scotland get St Andrews Day designated as a bank holiday by having to wrangle, quibble and beg their lords and masters to ‘allow’ it? I don’t actually know but I seriously doubt it. Our Government must get on with designating St David’s Day as a bank holiday to make a stand against outside interference without engaging in any conversation elsewhere about it. This will deliver parity with Scotland and the limp argument that it is not a good time of year to have it is already blown away by Paddys’ day being on… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

So those hurdles mentioned by WS Simon Hart are there with any St ‘David’s Day Bank Holiday created but not with a day to celebrate the jubilee? This crap has got to stop now!

The Welsh Government with support from Plaid Cymru & Lib Dems should pass a bill into Welsh Law to create a Bank Holiday to celebrate St’ David’s Day. We do not need English Whitehall’s permission. It’s our patron saint. Our country. Enough is enough!

Stuart
Stuart
28 days ago

Well up for this. Stop whining! Another bank holiday is great for those of us who work hard.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.