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Over 60 trade bodies back Aldous Bill

Industry has rallied behind Peter Aldous MP’s efforts to reform damaging payment practices and abuse in the construction industry.

In the wake of the Carillion collapse, an industry coalition of over 60 construction and maintenance trade bodies now back the Aldous Bill, which proposes that cash retentions owed to the supply chain be held in trust through special ring-fenced deposit schemes.

In by far the largest industry coalition to be formed on the issue of late and unfair payment, and amid growing support and clear industry appetite for reform, there is also an increasing amount of political backing from MPs and Lords.

Those favouring reform hail from a broad cross section of the supply chain, including the electrical, plumbing, heating, interiors, house building, roofing, scaffolding and demolition sectors. Major trade bodies in support include the Federation of Master Builders and the Federation of Small Businesses.

ECA director of business Paul Reeve commented: “Quite simply, the time for major change to retentions is now. Putting retentions in trust would help to protect the supply chain from future upstream insolvency, and it would reduce the amount held in retentions when buyers see that they can no longer use suppliers’ cash to support their own business model.”

BESA public affairs and policy manager Alexi Ozioro added: “Levels of support for the Bill are very encouraging, and this is a real opportunity for government to show it can respond to urgent developments and legislate on more than just Brexit. It will take months, maybe years, to feel the full effect of Carillion, and what this Bill will do is make sure thousands of people can enjoy a more secure future.” 

Peter Aldous MP said: “This coalition of support shows the urgent need for reform and unity of industry following Carillion. Support covers so much of the industry that we now have a golden opportunity to change construction for the better. I hope the Government gets behind industry and this Bill. We need action to protect SMEs before more millions are lost, and this Bill is about ensuring people’s money is safe so businesses can grow and invest in their future.”

Carillion's collapse, six days after the Bill’s first reading, has pushed payment abuse higher up the political agenda. 

Support for the Bill is being coordinated by BESA and the ECA and its second reading is set to be held on Friday 27 April.

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