Retentions Bill to be debated in Westminster

The First Reading of the Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill will take place today (9 January) in the House of Commons. The Bill is being introduced by Peter Aldous MP and has 11 sponsors drawn from all parties.

The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group – representing the largest sector in UK construction (by value) – has stated that this is the latest stage in a long-running campaign to tackle the abuse associated with the practice of cash retentions in the construction industry.

SEC Group’s CEO, Professor Rudi Klein, said that the Parliamentary campaign began over 15 years ago with the (then) Trade and Industry Committee in the House of Commons being persuaded to launch an inquiry into the practice. The Committee declared the practice to be “unfair” and “outdated”.

Professor Klein added:

“We now believe that this latest Private Member’s Bill has a good chance of being properly debated given the extent of cross-party support for the Bill. We must succeed because the industry is losing almost £1m worth of retentions each working day because of insolvencies. This does not take account of the millions of pounds lost by way of the costs associated with waiting years for the release of the monies and chasing up the monies.”

Firms in SEC Group’s member associations and in other trade associations have been carrying out an extensive lobbying campaign to garner support for the Bill.

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