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Aldous Bill gains clout with support from senior MPs

 A number of the most senior MPs in Parliament are now backing retentions reform, according to leading engineering services bodies Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). 

Newly announced supporters of the Aldous Bill include 15 select committee chairs from the four largest political parties, who also make up a substantial portion of the Liaison Committee in Parliament, a powerful group tasked with holding the Prime Minister to account, and with the ability to recommend topics for debate in the House of Commons. 

Cross-party parliamentary support for retentions reform now stands at over 270 MPs.

ECA deputy director of business policy and practicem Rob Driscoll, said: “This level of support from the most senior politicians in the country highlights the significance of this issue, and importantly shows that there is a ready-made solution available. ECA and BESA will continue to work with government to press for legislation on retentions.”

BESA head of legal and commercial, Debbie Petford, added: “A year after the collapse of Carillion, its catastrophic impact is still being felt by many small companies all over the UK. We welcome this vast level of cross-party support which highlights the continuing importance of a legislative solution to the issue of retentions.”

The Aldous Bill, named after Peter Aldous MP, aims to protect construction subcontractors by holding cash retentions in third party accounts. Cash retentions is money held back by larger contractors and clients in case defects arise on work undertaken, but the system is known to be widely abused.

The second reading of the Bill is now expected to be held on Friday March 8 2019. Retentions reform is also supported by an industry coalition of around 85 trade associations and professional bodies.

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