David Cameron stated that he was "very aware of the pressures faced by subcontractors in the construction sector" in his recent letter to the National Specialist Contractors' Council (NSCC), and that "the construction supply chain should not have to wait for lengthy periods to be paid for work they have already completed".
He went on to say that “this is something the government takes extremely seriously” and that “payment will be included within the Industrial Strategy for Construction”.
Feeling is running so high in the industry that this year's StreetwiseSubbie National Conference was oversubscribed and has had to move to a larger conference centre at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel.
Delegates will call on Cameron to tackle the core problems, adopt their Fair Treatment Charter across all public procurement and make it law as soon as possible.
"It's all very well Mr Cameron saying that payment ‘is something the government takes extremely seriously’ and that ‘payment will be included within the Industrial Strategy for Construction’, but do they understand what is really going on?" challenged Barry Ashmore, founder of StreetwiseSubbie – a national support network for specialist contractors.
"If they do, they need to address the real problems of late payment, reduced payment, lack of proper valuation and unfounded set offs, all driven by grossly unfair contractual arrangements. The list goes on and on."
Ashmore says that StreetwiseSubbie has been overwhelmed by the positive support for this year’s conference, where delegate numbers are now likely to top 100.
He continued: "Having to move venue to accommodate everyone is a small price to pay to ensure that specialist contractors have a voice. The industry has to find an answer, and if the government cares about the industry and the 200,000 jobs already lost they need to action this now, before it's too late."
Ashmore urged that with 5,000 specialist contracting companies having failed since the start of the recession, what the industry needs is action.
The Fair Treatment Charter will be launched at the ‘Specialist Contracting in the UK is Broken! - What Can We Do To Fix It?’ conference at the Nottingham Belfry on 7 June 2013. Please click here for full details.