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Scrap Bank Holidays to boost UK economy

Monday, April 9, 2012
11:47 AM

Enjoy the remainder of this Bank Holiday weekend because they could be under threat – if a think tank is right about the impact of the break upon business.

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Bank Holiday Monday holiday is costing the UK £2bn in lost trade today, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Scrapping Britain’s nine public holidays could be worth £18bn to the economy, it stated.

“We have done some maths on this and about 45% of the economy suffers, the offices, the factories, the building sites where people tend not to go to work on Bank Holiday,” said Douglas McWilliams.

“About 15% of the economy, shops, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and visitor attractions, they actually do well out of the Bank Holiday, it’s a mixed thing.”

The royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at this time last year dealt a body blow to the economy from which it never recovered.

“And in the end we had five bank holidays in six weeks and business seemed to lose momentum there and never seemed to get it back over the year,” Mr McWilliams told the BBC.

He said the group does not want to scrap public holidays, but advocated spreading them out more evenly across the year.

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