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Extra bank holiday in October could bring £500m boost to economy

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Monday 25 May 2020

(Sharecast News) - An extra national holiday in the UK in October could boost the economy by £500m said Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman of the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
Despite the CEBR previously claiming that bank holidays leave the country with a bill of billions of pounds, McWilliams now changed his position on the topic.

On Monday, McWilliams said: "This year it would be quite likely that the boosts to spending in [retail, hospitality and catering] from an extra bank holiday after a period of enforced abstinence might well be double the usual boost, adding up to as much as £440m. There could well be a further stimulus from tourism boosting the UK economy by an additional £50m. So a rough £500m a day boost from more spending."

According to the Guardian, he also suggested a move towards a four-day working week could help the UK's finances.

The government is already considering introducing an extra bank holiday in October to compensate for the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The CEBR's evolving position mirrors that of many left-leaning thinktanks, which have argued for more paid time off as a way of boosting the economy.

Last year, the New Economics Foundation said giving workers more paid holiday would help drive up spending power in the entire economy and could give firms a greater incentive to raise their productivity.

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