Peredur Disappointed at Westminster’s Refusal To Grant St David’s Day Bank Holiday


A Plaid Cymru MS has criticised a “dismissive” response from Westminster to his request for an extra Bank Holiday for Wales on St David’s Day.

Peredur Owen Griffiths MS was responding after receiving a reply from Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake who is a Government Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business.

In a letter to the Tory Government, Peredur argued that it was time that people in Wales got the chance to celebrate their patron saint with a bank holiday, pointing out that: ‘Our 8 public holidays pale in comparison with the 14 enjoyed by the people of Malta.’

Peredur added: ‘Even if you compare us to Scotland and Northern Ireland, we lose out on an extra one or two bank holidays respectively.

‘It is high time that the people of Wales get to enjoy what some counterparts in the UK already have – a bank holiday on the day of their patron saint.’

In response, Mr Hollinrake wrote: ‘We appreciate the sentiment behind this request and recognise the importance of St David’s Day to the people of Wales.

‘While an additional bank holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy of an additional bank holiday remains considerable.

‘The latest analysis estimates the cost to the UK economy for a one-off bank holiday to be around £2bn. The Government does fully consider the effects of any additional bank holidays, which is why we rarely create them, despite repeated requests to do so.’ 

He added: ‘Regarding your point on the variation of bank holiday allowance across the UK. Each bank holiday arrangement has been developed against a backdrop of different histories, as well as different economic, social and cultural, and legal systems.

‘Different factors will require separate considerations. For these reasons, the Government has no current plans to change the well-established and accepted arrangements for bank holidays in Wales.’

Afterwards, Peredur said: “The case for Wales getting an extra bank holiday is clear yet Westminster has been dismissive to my request and that of other people.

“All we are asking for parity with the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland but – as with many things such as fair funding or a Barnett consequential for HS2– we are not deemed to be worthy of equality.

“The letter implies that our history is not as important as the history of other countries in the UK.

“It is clear that Westminster treats Wales and its residents as second-class citizens in this so-called union.

“Will this change under a Labour Government?  I doubt it very much.”

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  • Gareth Llewellyn
    published this page in News 2024-04-22 12:32:16 +0100

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