A LABOUR government would seek to create four new UK-wide bank holidays, Jeremy Corbyn says.
The proposals suggest public holidays on St David’s Day (1 March), St Patrick’s Day (17 March), St George’s Day (23 April) and St Andrew’s Day (30 November).
Mr Corbyn believes the move would ‘celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations’.
The UK currently has eight public holidays a year – the fewest of any G20 or EU country.
Normally, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine and Northern Ireland 10. Labour says the average for G20 countries is 12.
Under the Labour bank holiday policy, the devolved administrations would have the final say on whether to approve the extra days off.
The leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, welcomed the idea – telling the BBC her party had supported a holiday on St David’s Day for many years.#But a Conservative source said: ‘The British economy would be on a permanent holiday if Mr Corbyn got near Downing Street.’
UK bank holidays
England and Wales (8): New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May bank holiday, Spring bank holiday, Summer bank holiday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day
Scotland (9): Similar, but without Easter Monday and with the summer bank holiday at the start of August rather than the end, plus 2 January and St Andrew’s Day in addition
Northern Ireland (10): Same as England and Wales, plus St Patrick’s Day and Battle of the Boyne
Mr Corbyn said in a speech on Sunday: ‘The four nations that make up our great country have rarely been more divided due to the damaging and divisive policies of this Conservative government.’
‘But where Theresa May divides, Labour will unite our four nations.’
‘A Labour government will make St George’s Day – England’s national day and Shakespeare’s birthday – a public holiday, along with St David’s Day, St Andrew’s Day and St Patrick’s Day.’
‘These holidays will be a chance for workers to spend time with their families, in their communities and with their friends.’
‘But they will also be a chance to celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations.’