Bank holiday’s £2.3bn price tag

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags United kingdom

Each bank holiday is claimed to cost the UK economy £2.3bn
Each bank holiday is claimed to cost the UK economy £2.3bn
Every bank holiday costs the UK economy £2.3bn, according to the think tank the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

It calculates that cancelling bank holidays would boost the output of the economy by £19bn a year.

Spreading them throughout the year would help industry by stopping businesses “losing momentum,”​ it argues.

The extra bank holiday for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year means there are five in April, May and June in England and Wales. In Scotland, Easter Monday is not a holiday.

In total, England and Wales normally have eight bank holidays, while Scotland has nine and Northern Ireland has 10.

Economy suffers

Douglas McWilliams, CEBR founder, told the BBC’sBreakfastprogramme: “About 45% of the economy suffers; the offices, the factories, the building sites where people tend not to go to work on bank holiday.”

But Paul Kenny, GMB union leader, slammed the report as "utter rubbish"​.

Unions have long called for more public holidays, pointing out that other European countries have more than the UK's minimum of eight.

Spain has a statutory minimum of 13 bank holidays, Portugal has 13, Greece has 12, France has 11, while Germany and Ireland both have nine.

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