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27th April 2022

CAMRA joins a host of leading UK business voices in backing a new “Thank Holiday”

  • The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) joins the calls for a new day in the national calendar
  • CAMRA joins a host of British industries including the CBI and UK Hospitality and leading brands including Siemens and Iceland
  • Research shows existing government figures overestimate cost of bank holiday by 64%
  • Campaign would make Jubilee bank holiday permanent from 2023

CAMRA has today joined a host of UK business leaders writing to the Prime Minister and Chancellor to back plans for a new bank holiday as research finds existing government figures have significantly overestimated the economic cost of public holidays.

CAMRA joins business leaders and organisations from around the UK, including the trade bodies the CBI and UK Hospitality, brands Siemens and Iceland, and business leaders Deborah Meaden and Dame Carolyn McCall. Together, they are calling for this year’s extra Jubilee bank holiday to be made permanent from 2023. This would bring the total bank holidays in England & Wales to 9, still considerably lower than many of our European counterparts including Germany and France who have 11.

Research by PwC commissioned for the campaign found that the government’s existing figures overestimated the potential cost of a new bank holiday by 64% and 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 the day would be a powerful way to honour the Queen’s service and recognise the country’s sacrifices through all the challenges of the pandemic.

CAMRA’s National Chairman Nik Antona said: “I think we can all raise a glass to the Government’s recent decision to extend licensing hours for pubs over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. After two years of lockdowns and restrictions, this is a real opportunity for communities to come together down at their local, boosting morale as well as footfall for businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic. We urge the Government to consider making this additional bank holiday a permanent feature in the calendar, as we believe it would be both economically and socially beneficial for communities up and down the country. We hope everyone will choose  to support their local over the long weekend as well as the coming months, as we celebrate our first summer without restrictions.”

Business woman Deborah Meaden best known for being an investor or 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. But I also think the Thank Holiday will provide the country with a social and economic stimulus we need after a difficult few years.”


Notes to Editors:

Summary of research findings:

  • Due to modelling errors, previous government estimates likely overestimate the cost of a bank holiday by 64%.
  • The central estimate of the total cost to the economy derived under the PwC framework is £831m. This is before accounting for the positive social benefits (see below). It equates to £20.13 per adult or 0.04% of GDP. It could be further reduced to £786m if held on a Friday.
  • Industries particularly badly affected by the pandemic – retail, hospitality and tourism – would benefit greatly from additional economic activity.
  • Previous analysis did not account for the potential economic benefits of wider non-monetary wellbeing factors, a practice now encouraged by HM Treasury.
  • A review of the literature on bank holiday behaviour, wellbeing and community cohesion suggests that any direct costs would therefore be partially or wholly offset by aggregate benefits to wellbeing.
  • The report concludes that the negative economic impacts of a new bank holiday would be smaller than pre-existing evidence would suggest and there is strong evidence that any direct costs would be offset by wider community and wellbeing benefits.

Download the full research report and open letter here.

About CAMRA:  

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 160,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Our vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.

Press release from CAMRA

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