Second reading of proposals to make third party deposit schemes mandatory for cash retentions is delayed for a second time as industry moves to further build industry and MP support
A second reading in parliament of a bill intended to ringfence cash retentions within the construction supply chain will be further delayed until October, with trade bodies supporting the bill hoping to use the time to build wider consensus among MPs for reform.
If passed into law, the Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill, which was introduced to parliament in January by MP Peter Aldous, would make it mandatory for retentions to be held in approved third party deposit schemes.
A number of industry bodies such as the ECA, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group and BESA have helped shape the proposed legislation that was introduced via the Ten-Minute Rule Bill to push debate into parliament around payment reform.
A second chance for the bill to be discussed in parliament had been originally delayed from April until June 15. A date of October 26 has now been scheduled for the reading to take place.
However, key industry parties have said the additional delays would allow for a growing number of supporters such as the Association of Accounting Technicians and the British Chambers of Commerce to try and build a broader consensus for legislative change in parliament and across the industry.
Rob Driscoll, deputy director of business policy and practice with the ECA, said industry support was expected to continue to grow around retentions reform.
He said, “Industry is unanimous and united on the need for reform of retentions. We are working with government and industry to deliver the method and solution within the reform to payment practices that the industry so urgently needs in order to meet government’s industrialisation, growth and prosperity agenda.”
BESA has claimed that one in four MPs have now expressed some form of support for the proposed changes.
Alexi Ozioro, the organisation’s public affairs and policy manager, said that the decision to push the second hearing back to October reflected a ‘busy legislative timetable’ as efforts continue to finalise a government strategy for Brexit.
He said, “For the bill to have been given a later date shows that the government are not ready to end the conversation around retentions reform. The broad spectrum of MPs supporting the bill is very encouraging, and is set to continue to grow. Reforming the poor payment landscape is not a matter of ideology or party loyalties, its common sense.”