I hope you all had a good Easter break. I certainly did. Very relaxing – well it was, once I could stop panicking about the chances of running out of petrol half way to somewhere or worse still, all the way to the middle of nowhere. And then fathom out what days which shops might be open
I managed to last until the petrol queues had subsided and then didn’t actually travel much further than Bloomfield Road to see another referee feel quite happy changing the entire temperament (and result) of a match he hadn’t had to spend hard earned money to buy a ticket for.
Granted losing a day off work from one week with Good Friday and a day from the next with Easter Monday does put a certain pressure on the remaining ones but in retrospect it’s worth it.
I didn’t use to think so. If there were two Bank Holidays together I’d take one off and work the other. Extra money, time off in lieu, not as much work to cover my tracks for.
These days though it’s good to have a longer break. I think we all think that. Well, I did until I found time (because I wasn’t at work) to read a series of pronouncements from the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR and, no, I’d never heard of it either).
According to the men in grey suits who work there and are probably paid far more than the rest of us, the British Bank Holiday has become a financial liability. Just when I thought employers were actually saving money by recommending we take our breaks rather than our overtime, along comes Mr Suit (or to be more correct, Mr Daniel Solomon) who reckons on average the eight Bank Holidays we normally “enjoy” costs the economy £2.3 billion each. So what? And how?
Sadly for the CEBR the Brits work longer hours than most of our European brethren (well, those of us lucky enough to still have jobs to work in) so they’ve looked instead to Asia. And aren’t we just a bunch of slackers compared to, say, South Koreans who notch up some 2,199 hours a year compared to our almost part time 1,647.
Throw in Bank Holidays and those of us who work are responsible for putting “a downward pressure of on productivity and hence GDP” (that’s Gross Domestic Product, you dummies!).
He’s not alone (though should be because in an ideal world he’d be locked into darkened solitary). His fellow depressor is Douglas McWilliams who reckons that if we don’t reduce our number of Bankies we should at least spread them out throughout the year in a more economically viable way. Perhaps in the middle of winter (not Christmas!) when no one could do anything anyway other than heat and light their houses at enormous expense?