Jeremy Corbyn wants to make St Patrick's Day a bank holiday in Britain
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Jeremy Corbyn wants to make St Patrick's Day a bank holiday in Britain

JEREMY Corbyn is proposing to make St Patrick’s Day a bank holiday in Britain as June 8’s General Election draws closer.

The Labour Leader said he would seek to create four new UK-wide bank holidays on the patron saint’s day of each of the home nations if elected Prime Minister.

He said the bank holidays would bring together England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at a time in which they are “divided”.

Mr Corbyn added that the dates would give workers a well-deserved break.

He is putting forward the proposal ahead of the General Election on June 8, which Prime Minister Theresa May announced last week.

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Under Mr Corbyn’s plan, there would be public holidays on St David's Day (March 1), St Patrick's Day (March 17), St George's Day (April 23) and St Andrew's Day (November 30).

"The four nations that make up our great country have rarely been more divided due to the damaging and divisive policies of this Conservative Government," Mr Corbyn said.

"But where Theresa May divides, Labour will unite our four nations. A Labour Government will make St George's Day - England's national day and Shakespeare's birthday - a public holiday, along with St David's Day, St Andrew's Day and St Patrick's Day.

Jeremy Corbyn wants St Patrick's Day to be a bank holiday in Britain (Picture: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images)
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"And we will ask for the support of the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so that the same four holidays can be enjoyed across the United Kingdom.

"These holidays will be a chance for workers to spend time with their families, in their communities and with their friends. But they will also be a chance to celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations."

Currently, St Patrick’s Day is a day off work in Northern Ireland, while St Andrew’s day is in Scotland.

However, English and Welsh people do not get a day off on their patron saint’s days, something Jeremy Corbyn hopes to change.

Estimates of the economic impact of public holidays are contradictory, varying between a ‘net benefit’ and ‘net cost’.

There is evidence that bank holidays increase productivity and wellbeing, but may delay the overall output of workers.

A 2012 study has suggested that each bank holiday costs Britain and Northern Ireland £2.3bn through lost economic output.

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Going by that figure, four new bank holidays could cost the economy in excess of £10bn – about two thirds of the country’s £15bn economic deficit.