Jeremy Corbyn announced a dramatic new policy on St. George’s Day saying, “For years, Britain’s workers haven’t had a proper pay rise, with wages for most people still below 2007 levels. After seven years of painful austerity, our workers deserve a break - and under a Labour government, they will have the opportunity of four more days off a year.” The move is designed to bring us closer into line with other countries as the UK has fewer bank holidays than any EU or G20 country.
Councillor Julian Ware-Lane, Deputy Leader of the Labour Group on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, wholeheartedly embraced the idea, adding that: “most nations celebrate their national days, and so should we.”
Basically, the proposed change is very simple, if a Labour government is elected on June 8th then there will be four new and additional bank holidays added to our calendar, to coincide with St. David’s Day (March 1st), St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th), St. George’s Day (April 23rd), and St. Andrew’s Day (November 30th).
For the past few years austerity has had some very detrimental consequences throughout the UK, and Mr. Corbyn stressed that, “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.”
The new policy will not only have beneficial effects on the health and well-being of our local residents, believes Cllr Ware-Lane, but it will also open up fantastic new opportunities for local commercial enterprises: “with Southend-on-Sea being a tourist town, which already benefits from the existing bank holidays, an influx of tourists on four more days would be great boost for the area. I expect that all those involved in the local tourist industry will be enthusiastic about the prospects” added Julian.
It is difficult to be precise in calculating the impact that these additional bank holidays will have on our economy, but the trend is toward additional holidays benefiting the economy. The role of manufacturing industry now contributes less to our economy than it once did, whereas tourism, shopping, and leisure are becoming ever more significant. Currently tourism contributes £126.9bn to our economy, but according to estimates by the Department of Media, Culture, and Sport, this will have risen to £257bn, or around 10% of GDP by 2025.