Welsh Secretary says Wales can have St David’s Day off – but only if it scraps another bank holiday
The Welsh Secretary has said that Wales can have St David’s Day off – but only if it scraps another bank holiday.
Northern Ireland and Scotland get their own bank holidays, St Andrew’s Day and St Patrick’s Day, in addition to the bank holidays enjoyed by Wales and England.
But South Swindon MP Robert Buckland told S4C’s Y Byd yn ei Le programme: “My personal view would be get rid of May Day, and have St David’s Day as our bank holiday, and it would be a nice quid pro pro.”
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 Welsh Government said that they had asked “time after time” for the power to denote 1 March a bank holiday, but the request has so far been denied by the UK Government.
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.”
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