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Gloucestershire Business News

SURVEY RESULTS: Backing for extra bank holiday plan

Punchline readers have backed calls for an extra bank holiday this October to help the tourism industry recoup some of the losses it has suffered during the coronavirus lockdown.

Yesterday Punchline-Gloucester.com told you how the proposed day off , backed by Visit Britain, could be worth £500million to the UK economy - a fraction of the £37billion tourism is estimated to have lost.

We asked for your views with 77 per cent of voters in favour of the extra bank holiday.

A poll on our Twitter feed @PunchlineGlos echoed that sentiment with 71 per cent in favour.

Among comments left in favour of the bank holiday, voters said it "would help hard-hit tourism areas", be "good for the economy and for people's well-being" and provide a "Feelgood factor - if we're not in the middle of a second wave".

The fear of how safe it would be by then was echoed on Twitter by @forest_deli who said: "I think we need to be sure we can actually do anything safely before adding in another bank holiday where we may all need to be staying in."

There were several calls for the UK - which has an average of 28 paid days off annually, compared with 30-40 across the EU - to have an extra bank holiday every year.

Patrick Downes (@pactproperty) tweeted: "We have always needed a bank holiday between summer and Christmas."

Another response said: "The economy needs to encourage people to go out and spend money to kick start things again.

"Also having all the existing bank holidays clustered early in the year means people are no encouraged to have time off later in the year."

And another comment in favour said: "This year to help the economy recover. Going forward in provides and extra enforced break when it's most needed."

But there was strong opinion against the extra day off, mainly surrounding concerns about the cost to businesses and productivity.

Among the responses were:

"I don't think there should be another bank holiday - maybe later to honour those that have died but for now, we need to get back to business. Who is going to pay for my staff to have the extra time off? It's great if you are in the hospitality business but not for the rest of us."

"As an employer, this would mean one more paid bank holiday to contend with and another non-productive day."

"As an engineering firm we have not received any help during coronavirus, this would add yet another cost which we can't afford to pay."

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