UK: Manufacturers’ group FETA has welcomed the first reading of the new retentions bill in parliament yesterday, describing it as “the only way forward”.
The co-called Aldous Bill, introduced by Conservative MP for Waveney Peter Aldous, seeks to amend the 1996 Construction Act to ensure retention money is held in a deposit protection scheme – thus ending the issue of upstream insolvency and the working capital it takes from the industry and SMEs.
“Retention payments are a deeply contentious matter for many of our members and the fact this Bill has received support across parliament suggests it is beginning to gain the attention it warrants,” commented FETA chief executive Russell Beattie.
“FETA will continue to work alongside other trade associations to ensure the reform reaches a satisfactory conclusion for all parties. In parallel to this Bill, the Government currently have a consultation running on payment practices in the construction industry and we remain convinced that legislation is the only way forward as relying simply on voluntary improvements is no more likely to succeed now than it has in the past.”
FETA maintains that retentions reform has been one of its long-standing issues, with many of its members having been affected. In December 2017 FETA was among 23 signatories on a letter from the ECA, published in the Daily Telegraph, which highlighted how poor payment practices in construction affect productivity, innovation and investment.
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