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FETA welcomes proposed retentions bill

Russell Beattie: “Retention payments are a deeply contentious matter for many of our members”

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.

Related stories:

Aldous launches retentions bill – 8 January 2018
UK: Proposed parliamentary legislation to ring-fence retentions has attracted support from politicians across the House. Read more…

Majority of SMEs hit with retentions – 20 November 2017
UK: A majority of engineering services businesses say that a substantial portion of their turnover is currently being held by firms up the supply chain. Read more…

BESA/ECA: “hold retentions in trust” – 29 October 2017
UK: Two of the UK’s leading building sub-contractor groups have told a new government enquiry that retentions should be held in trust. Read more…

Insolvency sparks £700m retention losses – 7 November 2017
UK: Insolvencies in construction have led to “shocking” cash retention losses of £700m over the last three years, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group claims. Read more…

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