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Sunday, January 09, 2005

St. David's Day

The Sunday Times reports that New Labour drawing up plans for an extra bank holiday as part of a manifesto strategy to help improve the work-life balance. They believe that the best time for the new holiday would be in the autumn to break the “slog” between the end of summer and Christmas when there are 117 days between the last August bank holiday and the festive break. Dates that would imbue it with a historical significance would be Trafalgar Day on October 21 and Armistice Day on November 11.

If this is the case then Labour actually have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to devolution. If, instead of imposing one uniform bank holiday on the whole of the United Kingdom, they allow the devolved nations to choose which day it applies to in their own area, they will have solved two issues with one measure. It would mean that Wales could choose to declare St. David's Day a bank holiday, whilst England opt for other dates of significance to them.

There has been all-party support for St. David's Day to become a public holiday in the Welsh Assembly but every attempt to implement this measure has been vetoed by the UK Government. Now is the time for change of heart on their part.

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