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Plaid Cymru MS ‘disappointed’ at Westminster’s refusal to grant St David’s Day Bank Holiday

22 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Saint David. Image Hchc2009, CC BY-SA 4.0

A Plaid Cymru MS has criticised a “dismissive” response from Westminster to his request for an extra Bank Holiday for Wales on St David’s Day.

Peredur Owen Griffiths MS was responding after receiving a reply from Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake who is a Government Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business.

In a letter to the Tory Government, Peredur argued that it was time that people in Wales got the chance to celebrate their patron saint with a bank holiday, pointing out that: “Our 8 public holidays pale in comparison with the 14 enjoyed by the people of Malta.”

Parity

The correspondence was sent on the eve of St David’s Day which saw most people going to work as they would on any other day.

This is in stark contrast to Scotland where there is a bank holiday for St Andrew’s Day. In Northern Ireland, there are two extra holidays – one for St Patrick’s Day and another for the Battle of the Boyne / Orangemen’s Day.

Peredur wrote: “Even if you compare us to Scotland and Northern Ireland, we lose out on an extra one or two bank holidays respectively.

“It is high time that the people of Wales get to enjoy what some counterparts in the UK already have – a bank holiday on the day of their patron saint.”

Peredur Owen Griffiths. Picture by Plaid Cymru

Response

In response, Mr Hollinrake wrote: “We appreciate the sentiment behind this request and recognise the importance of St David’s Day to the people of Wales.

“While 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 to the UK economy for a one-off bank holiday to be around £2bn. The Government does fully consider the effects of any additional bank holidays, which is why we rarely create them, despite repeated requests to do so.”

He added: “Regarding your point on the variation of bank holiday allowance across the UK. Each bank holiday arrangement has been developed against a backdrop of different histories, as well as different economic, social and cultural, and legal systems.

“Different factors will require separate considerations. For these reasons, the Government has no current plans to change the well-established and accepted arrangements for bank holidays in Wales.”

“So-called union”

Afterwards, Peredur said: “The case for Wales getting an extra bank holiday is clear yet Westminster has been dismissive to my request and that of other people.

“All we are asking for parity with the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland but – as with many things such as fair funding or a Barnett consequential for HS2– we are not deemed to be worthy of equality.

“The letter implies that our history is not as important as the history of other countries in the UK.

“It is clear that Westminster treats Wales and its residents as second-class citizens in this so-called union.

“Will this change under a Labour Government?  I doubt it very much.”


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Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
20 days ago

The elephant in the room is England. Wales gets the same Bank Holidays as England. Maybe a joint campaign by Plaid and some English party for Gwyl Dewi/ St George’s Day to be a holiday might gain more traction.

Rob
Rob
20 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Meagher

But do any of those parties in England have a higher profile than Plaid Cymru? And if they are on the far right would Plaid want to be associated with them?
Since Plaid is not an English party, their position should be that they are would not be opposed to an English Bank Holiday on St Georges Day, but is entirely a matter for the English people to decide.

Riki
Riki
20 days ago

Maybe if you stop begging for something that is ours by right, they’d respect us more. You can only fight back against bullies, as it’s the only language they understand. So STOP GROVELLING like an attention seeking child and do it anyway!

Riki
Riki
20 days ago

Why wasn’t my comment approved? All I said was we shouldn’t sit back and act like an attention seeking child waiting for the approval of their parent. We don’t require England to say whether we can have a Bank Holiday for our Patron saint. We will gain independence when we start acting independent!

Rob
Rob
20 days ago

There is a way to get around this. Legally there is a difference between a Bank Holiday and a Public Holiday.In EnglandandWales; Christmas Day and Good Friday are Public Holidays where as all other annual days off are Bank Holidays. Furthermore Bank Holidays are listed as reserved in Wales, whereas Public Holidays are not. Therefore what is to stop the Senedd from legislating St Davids Day as a Public Holiday? If Westminster were to challenge this well let them. Make them look like the bad guys.

Frank
Frank
20 days ago

Just do it!! Why should Cymru have to ask another nation for permission? Please Mr. Englishman can I go to the toilet? Why do we tolerate this silly dominance? It’s 2024 for goodness not 1324!! Let’s grow some balls.

Last edited 20 days ago by Frank
Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
20 days ago

Cymru is going to be continually denied this right no matter which party is in power in Westminster. If the people of our country really want March 1st as a BH, more money for our rail system, an end to child poverty, cheaper energy bills and the royal family paying rental charges for it’s Welsh Crown Estates – then they must embrace and vote for independence. It’s the only way.

Gareth
Gareth
20 days ago

Asking Labour to do something for Cymru, is like asking them to denounce the union, not going to happen, they refuse to go to court over HS2 money, so a holiday is out of the question.

karl
karl
20 days ago

Do we need another Christian nonsense debated right now. Much bigger issues are around us. Doesn’t bode well for any indy wanting party, to play into the hands of religion as we all are suffering nasty politics from westminster. Another bank holiday would be nice, but I rather church and state are seperate.

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