MPs to debate cash retentions in construction

Alan Brown MP
Alan Brown MP

The issue of cash retentions in the construction sector, said to amount to over £1 billion of unpaid fees to UK contractors, is to be debated in Westminster this week.

Alan Brown MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (SNP) has secured a Motion debate in the House of Commons on cash retentions in the construction industry for Wednesday during which he will argue for the introduction of legislation that can protect cash retentions and will highlight how this “outdated” practice puts construction SMEs at risk.

Construction representative body the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC Group) has been urging the UK government to introduce legislation to protect or ring-fence cash retentions to remove the insolvency risk and to ensure that retentions are released on time.

Such legislation, it argues, already exists in parts of Europe, Australasia and North America.

Analysis carried out for the SEC Group in February indicated that the UK’s top 12 construction companies are collectively owed over £1bn of cash retentions, over 80% of which would have comprised the retentions withheld by these companies from their supply chains, the overwhelming majority of whom would have been SMEs.

The debate will take place following Prime Minister’s Questions around 12:30 and can be followed at Parliament TV.

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