Sir Digby Jones was the main voice against the proposition, stressing that each bank holiday results in a £2.5 billion loss for British coffers. Whilst its supporters cited imbalances (England gets eight bank holidays, compared to the European Union average of eleven), or even the inexplicable ranking of saints. As Lord Butler put it:
"My Lords, is not St Patrick’s Day a bank holiday in Northern Ireland? Can the Minister explain why St Patrick is favoured over St David, St Andrew and, indeed, St George?"
The bank holiday question is one that provokes a great deal of feeling. Dr Eamonn Butler, of the Adam Smith Institute, thinks we should scrap them altogether. Whilst the Fabian Society has campaigned for more bank holidays. Accordingly, then, I thought I’d canvass Coffee Housers’ views on the matter. Should we have more or less bank holidays? And, if we are to have more, what should they commemorate?