People like weddings. They are a good reason for a celebration. It is lucky to see a bride and we wish the happy couple (an excellent cliché) all the best. I hope the sun shines for them. However, I do not understand why I and the millions of taxpayers should pay for someone else’s wedding, particularly if they are not invited to join in the celebration. Well, it can be argued that we are all invited to join in the celebrations, because today has been declared a public holiday.
Today a person who will probably be enthroned as monarch of the United Kingdom is getting married. The present Monarch is in good health and so is the next in line for the throne, the father of the groom, and while I wish the happy couple nothing but the best I do not see why I should pay for their wedding.
At one time if a modest wedding took place in a small village and I happened upon it, perhaps inconvenienced by the use of the village road for a street party I would be warmly invited to join in the celebrations and that would be some compensation for the inconvenience, but if I attempt to go anywhere near the church where the happy event (another good cliché) is taking place I would be detained by a policeman and either sent on my way or else arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
I understand all of that, and will to attempt any gatecrash despite the inconvenience but I cannot understand why I and millions of other taxpayers have to bear the costs of the wedding. I cannot understand why employers have been forced to give a day off or why a position has been created which effective prevents the self employed earning their livings.
Nevertheless Mr Cameron has, in these times of austerity when every person who is working should be working as hard as possible, including Mr Cameron and the civil servants that serve us, seen fit to announce a public holiday (with pay) for the nation. There are various estimates of what this holiday will cost the nation in lost work. They range between £2.9 billion from the government to £6 billion from the Confederation of British Industry, with estimates of the additional benefit from tourism and wedding celebrations being around £1 billion.
In fairness this loss of production or work does not benefit the happy couple, nor ultimately does it benefit everyone to have another bank holiday at a time of the year when we seem stuffed with bank holidays at Easter and May Day, followed by Whitsun. It certainly will create some problems for businesses which will lose a day’s work that they can never regain.
Most businesses in the United Kingdom are small businesses. Many people are self employed. I think it would have been more appropriate if these businesses were given the option of having a holiday. Instead they face a four day week followed by a three day week followed by a four day week and the temptation will be for many people to take off all the intermediate working days.
Perhaps someone could explain the logic of this bank holiday.