Government action is needed to protect civil engineering contractors from redundancies and closure, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) said yesterday.
CECA said increasing numbers of contractors are reporting a squeeze on their credit facilities by banks despite the fact that the Government has offered a £37bn bailout on the condition that they return lending to 2007 levels.
Small civil engineering contractors would be at greatest risk of redundancies and closure with cash flow being squeezed and the volume of work available reducing rapidly, it added.
CECA director Rosemary Beales said: “We want to see today’s meeting between the chancellor and bank chiefs having a positive impact on the plight of contractors, particularly the smaller businesses.
"The Government has spent £37bn of taxpayers’ money bailing out banks who are failing to keep their part of the bargain by not lending at 2007 levels. If the cost of this is the loss of some of the most enterprising small firms in the country, with the knock-on losses in employment and skills and the future cost of construction with the absence of a vibrant SME market, then the cost to the taxpayer will be far greater than the initial bailout."