Jacob Rees-Mogg backs plans for a coronation bank holiday after concerns of financial impacts

7 October 2022, 08:53 | Updated: 7 October 2022, 10:11

The business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg (right), has given his support to a bank holiday for the King's coronation, describing the idea as 'perfectly reasonable'.
The business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg (right), has given his support to a bank holiday for the King's coronation, describing the idea as 'perfectly reasonable'. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Cameron Kerr

Business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg has voiced his support for a bank holiday to mark King Charles III's coronation, amid some MPs concern about the economic impact a public holiday would have.

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Sources said some they feared some in the government were pushing back against the idea of a bank holiday for the coronation because they feared a bank holiday would stifle growth.

Now, the business secretary has voiced his support for a bank holiday.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The coronation is an important symbolic act with constitutional resonance about the stability of our system. To have a day off for that is perfectly reasonable, and the effect on growth will not be enormous.”

The Telegraph is reporting that the assumption of an extra bank holiday for the coronation had caused an issue in government planning, amid concerns for the economy. Earlier this year, it was reported that the Government had modelled the cost of an extra bank holiday at £1.36 billion.

But accountants PwC believe that figure is an over-estimation, and predict that the true cost would be nearer to £831 million.

Sources have said they feared some in the government were pushing back against making the coronation an extra bank holiday over fears it would stifle economic growth.
Sources have said they feared some in the government were pushing back against making the coronation an extra bank holiday over fears it would stifle economic growth. Picture: Getty
The business secretary's comments come after reports that some in government were concerned about the economic impact of an extra bank holiday.
The business secretary's comments come after reports that some in government were concerned about the economic impact of an extra bank holiday. Picture: Alamy

Royal and military sources said that early June remained the preferred date for the King’s coronation, with Friday, June 2nd – the late Queen’s own date in 1953 – widely rumoured to be under consideration.

The Queen was coronated on a Tuesday, and a bank holiday was granted so the public could celebrate in the streets and watch at home on television.

The Telegraph reports that an extra bank holiday is not guaranteed, despite tradition

One alternative option would be for an existing May bank holiday to be moved to mark the King's coronation.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

Several sources claimed that no decision has yet been made on the definite coronation date, but it is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks to give time to plan a late Spring or Summer event.

The “current thinking”, one source said, has settled on early June in expectation of warmer weather that would make it fit for a moment of national celebration.

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Bloomberg previously reported that the coronation would be held on Saturday, 2 June, but this was denied by royal sources.

Military troops will be preparing to march in a traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony at around the same time.

As June 2 is a Saturday, a bank holiday would not be required, however it is also the same date on which the FA Cup Final will take place.

One government source said that while he had not heard the issue being raised yet regarding the coronation: “There’s always a trade off/discussion about the economic effects of bank holidays.”

Professor Stephen Millard, deputy director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said: “The economic effect of an additional bank holiday is generally small and any negative effects tend to be reversed really quickly anyway. 

“In the case of the coronation, though, it may well be that there is a positive effect created by the ‘feel good’ factor, sales of merchandise, celebrations, etc. Again, though, it is hard to imagine that this effect would be that large.”

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