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Court upholds industry levy changes


Forthcoming changes to the construction skills levy have been upheld by a judge.

Claims made in a judicial review against the Construction Industry Training Board’s so-called levy simplification were dismissed in a ruling this week.

The 2015 levy order introduced changes to the way the tax will be charged from 2017, including a new levy on labour payments made to subcontractors who are taxed through the seperate Construction Industry Scheme.

Hudsons Contract Services challenged the changes in a legal case against the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

CITB policy director Steve Radley said: “This outcome is good news for the construction industry. It confirms that the 2015 CITB Levy Order and levy simplification are legal.

“We worked with industry for two years to make the levy simpler and fairer, and deliver more for construction firms. We are pleased that the benefits of these changes will be felt right across our industry, as planned.

“We can now deliver on our commitment to return a greater share of levy funding to employers and make it work better for them.”

Hudsons Contract Services insisted the levy system needed reform.

It said in a statement today: “SMEs who are vital to our economic growth are getting short-changed, and the country is failing to train as many young workers as it could.”

The government has previously announced plans for a UK-wide skills tax, and consulted on the possibility of scrapping the CITB levy.

Earlier this year, CITB revealed plans to slash 450 jobs in three years as it seeks to become more modern and efficient. The organisation said it would undergo a “major restructure” to save costs and become more relevant.

Meanwhile, the CITB this week started accepting applications for its latest Flexible Funding initiative, which offers cash for construction skills and training projects that last up to 18 months and are not already supported by the body.

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