Tuesday 21 June 2011
Business, Innovation and Skills
St George's Day (Public Holiday)
The Petition of residents of the Erewash constituency and others,
Declares that England is one of very few countries in the world that does not have a public holiday to celebrate its national day; notes that St Patrick’s Day is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland, and that St Andrew’s Day is a voluntary public holiday in Scotland; and further declares that everyone who is part of England should be able to celebrate its traditions, its history, its heritage and the English way of life with a public holiday on St George’s Day.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to bring forward proposals to make St George’s Day a public holiday in England.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Jessica Lee, Official Report, 10 May 2011; Vol. 527, c. 1135 .]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills:
The Government regularly receive requests for additional bank and public holidays to celebrate a variety of occasions. However, given that in recent years the annual leave entitlement has increased for many workers, it does not seem to us to be sensible to create another permanent bank holiday in a time of recession. While an additional bank holiday may benefit some sectors, the cost to the economy of an additional bank holiday remains considerable, with estimates varying between £3 billion and £6 billion.
Although the current pattern of holidays is well established, in order to come to a full understanding as to whether the current arrangements are best for the country, the Department for Culture Media and Sport announced in the recent tourism strategy that they would carry out a pre-consultation on the issue.
The pre-consultation ended on 9 June and examined a range of options, including the possible movement of the May day bank holiday to St George’s day in England and St David’s day in Wales. Interested parties were encouraged to submit their representations on this matter to ensure all relevant opinions were available during this process. Responses are being assimilated and results are expected later this summer.