Bank Holidays Cost Money!

As London and the world celebrated the spectacle of the century so far, economic gloom hovered over the festivities. Estimates of the cost of an extra bank holiday on top of the annual Easter break for the UK economy range from £1.2bn to £6bn, while the wedding has been billed as possibly the most expensive security event ever, set to leave the taxpayer £20m worse off.

The extended bank holiday is costly for employers, especially small firms, as more than 6m are taking extra time off to make the most of the double break.

Already smarting from January’s VAT rise and the impact of spending cuts, many companies will now have to cough up large overtime payments for employees left to hold the fort.

According to professional services firm RSM Tenon, the time off could cost British businesses up to £30bn in lost productivity.

That far outweighs the commercial benefit to London from spending by tourists drawn in by the wedding, estimated by PwC at £107m.

Economists are concerned that the two weeks lost will affect second-quarter GDP data by as much as 25% of the quarter’s output.

UK first-quarter 2011 GDP figures showed 0.5% growth, indicating that the economy has been flat since September, after taking into account snow-related losses.

On a brighter note, many retailers have welcomed the extra day’s holiday to sell memorabilia, drink, party food and other products to workers taking the day off.

John Lewis said that sales of Catherine and William tea towels had soared by 109% in the past two weeks.

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  1. Ardross says:

    £20 million on the royal wedding security!! What a disgrace! should have been spent on increasing incapacity benefit or child allowance.

    • Jonnyhammer says:

      Oh bah humbug, it was a great day, a great day to be British. The shops are buzzing, spirits have been lifted and Brand GB has been promoted to billions around the world. £20 is chickenfeed set against the benefits. Lighten up guys, enjoy the sunshine and the smiling faces! God save

    • soontobecolonel says:

      i take it that was a heavily sarcastic comment?

  2. Rosalimacat says:


  3. miopus says:

    A mere drop in the ocean compared with Tower Hamlets bill for asylum seekers residing in sumptuous housing while the rest of us scrimp and save to pay for it.

  4. miopus says:

    Ardross, you forgot about the money spent propping up alcoholics and druggies.

  5. Cox says:

    Why don’t we let people have an extra 5 or 6 days off each year, taken when they choose to do so; instead of everyone going off together. It would save the country virtually closing down each Bank holiday with all the associated jams on motorways, airports etc, plus hotels, airlines and the rest charging rip-off prices. UK plc. open for business on an extra 5 or 6 days would increase GDP by about 2%

  6. Alan says:

    The financial impact may be true to an extent, but there is a certain feel-good factor about the positive occasion, which could give a lift to the spirits of many in a world normally weighed down with bad news, and the long term lift may be an ‘investment’ much needed from time to time and it reinforces British identity and the institution of marriage which also is in need of a boost, in my opinion, shared by many, we are all entitled to an opinion. Please don’t cloud the day, we need some good memories for our well-being, so cheer up!

  7. miopus says:


    Come the Revolution – whose heads would you wish to see on the block ?

  8. Stu says:

    Tea towels had soared 109% in the past 2 weeks? How many were they actually selling 3 weeks ago then?! Crazy