Reinstate the TT Senior Race Day Bank Holiday as Celebration of Key Workers, Says Liberal Vannin

  • Treasury Minister Cannan has unilaterally abolished the 2020 Senior Race Day holiday

“The 2020 Senior Race Day Bank Holiday should be immediately reinstated, and further, dedicated this year in recognition of the exceptional efforts of key workers in the Isle of Man,” said Michael Josem, Chair of Liberal Vannin. “This public holiday does not belong to Mr Cannan, it belongs to the people of the Isle of Man. His inexplicable decision to abolish this public holiday is a mean and sneaky move.”

On Monday 4 May, Treasury Minister Alf Cannan unilaterally abolished the 2020 Senior Race Day. Mr Cannan’s decision only came to public notice on Thursday 7 May when it was listed on the Tynwald order paper for 19 May with no prior warning or announcement.

Liberal Vannin is calling for the TT Bank holiday to be reinstated for several reasons:

  • It is inappropriate to use the powers delegated by Tynwald to override the previous decision of Tynwald without first consulting widely with the Manx public;
  • Giving businesses and workers just four weeks’ notice is not reasonable for the unneeded disruption to schedules, timetables and working arrangements; and
  • Isle of Man workers receive a minimum of twenty days annual leave, compared to twenty-eight days annual leave in the United Kingdom. The extra pair of Manx public holidays (Senior Race Day and Tynwald Day) help to offset this difference.

“People all over the Island are struggling through this coronavirus crisis and are sacrificing so much for the good of our community. The absolute least that Government can do is let them try to enjoy a public holiday as much as they can during these difficult times. This decision to strip people of a public holiday is unneeded and completely unwarranted.” said Josem.

“While many people have lost their jobs in recent months, there are still many who are working hard to earn a wage for their family. People delivering lifesaving services in the NHS and key workers throughout the public and private sector will all be hurt by Mr Cannan’s decision to abolish their public holiday.”

“If Mr Cannan wants to cancel the public holiday, he should make the argument in public and earn the approval of Tynwald, instead of making unilateral decisions in secret,” said Josem.