Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to install four new bank holidays to mark the days of each of the UK's patrons to celebrate the "national cultures of our great nations".

St David's Day for Wales, St Patrick's Day for Northern Ireland, St George's Day for England and St Andrew's Day for Scotland each commemorate the culture and history of the nations which form the UK.

Scotland and Northern Ireland hold bank holidays for St Andrew's Day and St Patrick's Day respectively. But people in England and Wales do not get days of rest on St George's Day and St David's Day – something Corbyn wants to change if he comes into power following the upcoming general election.

"The four nations that make up our great country have rarely been more divided due to the damaging and divisive policies of this Conservative government," Corbyn said, claiming he would "unite" the four nations that May had split apart.

"A Labour government will make St George's Day – England's national day and Shakespeare's birthday – a public holiday, along with St David's Day, St Andrew's Day and St Patrick's Day.

"These holidays will be a chance for workers to spend time with their families, in their communities and with their friends. But there will also be a chance to celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations."

The Conservatives have hit back by claiming the UK economy "would be on a permanent holiday" if Corbyn becomes prime minister in June.

England currently has eight bank holidays, including New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May bank holiday, Spring bank holiday, Summer bank holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same holidays, but also have their respective patron days off work. Northern Ireland also takes a day off to mark the Battle of the Boyne – which remains controversial in the country.

Labour claims the UK has the fewest bank holidays of any G20 nation. France has 11 – including Bastille Day, All Saints Day and Armistice Day. According to the tax advisory service Von Essen, G20 countries have an average of 12 days of public holidays.

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a bank holiday costs the UK's economy £2.3bn ($2.95bn).