More than 100 MPs are now in favour of a bill to implement ring-fencing of retention monies, drafted by Peter Aldous MP in conjunction with BESA and the ECA.
Cross-party support for retentions reform includes Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, SNP, DUP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party. Supporting MPs represent constituencies covering the whole of the UK.
Prominent supporters include; Labour frontbench, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Shadow BEIS Minister Rebecca Long-Bailey, Conservative ‘Father of the House’ Kenneth Clarke, former Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey, Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Vince Cable and Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas.
An Early Day Motion tabled by James Frith MP on January 23 received signatures from 61 MPs, calling on the government to introduce new legislative proposals to put retentions in deposit protection schemes. Alongside the initial 12 co-sponsoring MPs of the ‘Aldous Bill’, BESA, ECA and SEC Group have received confirmation from other MPs that has taken the list of supporters over 100.
Supporting MPs have increased by a factor of ten since Carillion collapsed in January, six days after the first reading of the Aldous Bill. The second reading of the bill is due to take place on Friday 27 April.
Peter Aldous MP said: “Industry support for reform to outdated payment systems is at unprecedented levels, for which I am very grateful. Construction is an essential underpinning of our lives and work, and we need to support the industry and especially SMEs to ensure future growth and prosperity. The petition being presented represents over 330,000 businesses and there are over 100 of my Parliamentary colleagues that support reform to the practice of cash retentions.
“We have a golden opportunity to improve the industry for the better, level the playing field for SMEs and protect thousands and thousands of jobs. The industry loses around £1 million for each working day, mostly from SMEs. There have been proposals to stop the abuse of retentions before, but this time there is the largest coalition on fair payments ever.”
For more information on the launch of the Aldous Bill, read our feature from February’s issue here.