Leaders representing thousands of British companies are calling for the extra Jubilee bank holiday – that they call ‘Thank Holiday’ – to be made permanent from next year
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Business leaders have written to the Prime Minister and Chancellor to back plans for a new bank holiday.
The letter, signed by people representing thousands of British companies, comes after new research found existing government figures have significantly overestimated the economic cost of public holidays.
The group – which includes trade bodies the CBI and UK Hospitality – is calling for this year’s extra Jubilee bank holiday to be made permanent from 2023.
They say the so-called “Thank Holiday” would undoubtedly bring long-term benefits to the country.
This new date in the calendar would bring the total bank holidays in England & Wales to nine, still considerably lower than many European nations including Germany and France who have 11.
Research by PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants (PwC) commissioned for the campaign found that the government’s existing figures overestimated the potential cost of a new bank holiday by 64%.
Existing data also failed to account for the positive social and health benefits associated with bank holidays.
The research also highlights sectors particularly badly impacted by the pandemic – retail, hospitality and tourism – who would benefit greatly from additional economic activity.
Those backing the call for the bank holiday say it would be a powerful way to honour the Queen’s service and recognise the country’s sacrifices through all the challenges of the pandemic.
Business woman Deborah Meaden, best known for being an investor on Dragons Den, who is spearheading the call, said: “The Great British Bank holiday is enjoyed by one and all across society. We all have fond memories of trips away, gatherings with friends, or just enjoying some relaxing time with loved ones. But it’s also a major boon for many businesses – especially those sectors that have struggled during the pandemic.
“I’m backing the campaign because I think it will be a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s seventy years of public service, and that of all the people who make our communities kinder, nicer places to live.”
“The proposal for a new Thank Holiday to recognise the Queen’s selfless service and to extend that notion of service across communities is a really exciting one,” said Tony Danker, director general of the CBI.
“Business is keen to support and we at the CBI will work with the campaign’s supporters and employers to make it a real success.”
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