The run-up to the 2017 General Election has begun, with interesting promises already being made (or in some cases, not being made) by the politicians.
Notable among the pledges is Labour’s proposal to have four new Bank Holidays. Labour has already trumpeted its commitment to the lower-paid by suggesting an increase in the minimum wage to £10 an hour (which may mean that businesses will lay people off) but let’s look at the economics of these extra holidays…
- Those workers paid hourly, but working an 8 hour day they will lose four days of pay, or £320. Thus those with the owrst employment arrangements will be worse off.
- Those businesses paying a salary will lose four days of production but still have to pay their workers the same.
Have I missed something here, or is this an oxymoronic plan? What is the point of a holiday you end up paying for, but have to take whether you like it or not? Of course there is, on top of this, the disruption that will occur in the NHS, which Labour pledges to protect. Bank Holidays are already a nightmare. All non-emergency services shut down; no cold surgery, no outpatients. There will be a rapid increase in waits. Think about it. Senior doctors have six weeks leave and two weeks of study leave, which means that at most they work a 44 week year. Those who have commitments on Mondays lose six this year to Bank Holidays (in England) so are now down to 36 weeks. Another two weekdays go for Christmas. Then we are to lose another four days – which is nearly another whole week (OK, they won’t all be Mondays but a week is a week).
Would you trust the originators of this madcap scheme with your money? Leave aside that they will take even more of it to fund all their other crackpot plans.
I have a rule for plans. Look at an idea, and work out whether there is anything that could possibly go wrong with it. Look at every angle; assess the pros, but search for the cons. In this case it is one big con, in every sense of the word.