The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has written to the Chancellor Alistair Darling, asking him to adopt seven proposals to get Civil Engineering moving.
The letter sets out out the sector’s priorities for the 22 April Budget.
CECA Director Rosemary Beales said; “The steps put forward in November’s Pre-Budget Report did not amount to the level of support the construction industry needs. In the Budget next month the Government must provide more purposeful support if the industry is to help the UK emerge from the recession and be ready to deliver the infrastructure programmes vital to the UK’s development.
“CECA has written to the Chancellor to ensure that the voice of the civil engineering sector is heard before such an important budget. The seven steps we have asked the Chancellor to take are affordable, not difficult to deliver and will have a positive impact on our industry in a short space of time. By these steps, Mr Darling will be addressing the concerns of civil engineering contractors across the country,” she said.
CECA ask for:
- Workload -immediately redirect the £300M of the £1bn fiscal stimulus package for major transport projects announced at the time of the Pre-Budget Report that will not be spent in 2009, into repair and maintenance spending on roads. An additional £300m should be put forward in 2010 to make up the future shortfall.
- 10-Day Payment - take action, as the Welsh Assembly Government has done, to enable all Local Authoritiesto pay suppliers within 10 days.
- Retentions - suspend the deduction of retentions on all public sector construction contracts henceforth and also encourage the early release of retentions currently withheld.
- SME Access to Government Contracts - encourage public sector clients to release work in a variety of
ways, with smaller bundles or individual contracts let discretely outside of framework packages, to ensure SME Contractors are able to compete and grow.
- Apprenticeships - provide financial support for employers to expand apprenticeships and help the industry
meet the Government’s aim of having more apprentices in the workplace, as well as enabling the industry to help reduce the social costs of persistent youth unemployment.
- Credit Insurance - provide help to companies who rely on credit insurance by immediately examining whether
the Government can share an element of the risk, enabling construction supply chains to remain in business.
- Government Support for Business via Banks - immediately extend the help available through the
Government’s financial support schemes to all businesses in need of short to medium term cash flow support by improving understanding of the schemes, simplifying any lingering complexities and using your influence on the banks to ensure that the construction industry is not unfairly omitted.