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More than 100 MPs support supply chain cash retentions proposal

19 April 2018

Cross-party political support has been announced for placing cash retentions in trust accounts, so they are protected from the event of companies going out of business and instances of non-payment.

It is reported that more than 100 MPs have now pledged support from parties including the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, SNP, DUP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party.

The issue has been discussed for many years, particularly within the construction sector, and affects a high number of FM service providers.

Those supporting the placing of retention payments into trust accounts include the Conservative's Kenneth Clarke, Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow BEIS Minister Rebecca Long-Bailey, Liberal leader Sir Vince Cable and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas.

An Early Day Motion proposed by James Frith MP on 23 January received the support of 61 MPs, with a further 12 MPs co-sponsoring the Aldous Bill, additionally supported by major industry associations.

Industry bodies particularly active in this area are the Specialist Engineering Contractors' (SEC) Group, the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA).

With more than 100 MPs now supporting the Aldous Bill, the second reading of this will take place on 27 April.

Peter Aldous MP said support for the proposal is "at unprecedented levels" and emphasised the importance of protecting cash retention payments, particularly for SMEs in the supply chain.

"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 £1m [of cash retentions] for each working day, mostly from SMEs," he said.

Further support on late payment was pledged by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Spring Statement, when he stated there would be further action on companies that do not pay their suppliers on time.

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