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Westminster debate confirmed for cash retentions

21 February 2020

SNP MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun Alan Brown has secured debate to discuss the use of cash retentions within the construction industry.

Retentions have been at the centre of considerable debate in recent years, with calls from industry bodies, companies and MPs for these to be placed in ring-fenced accounts.

The collapse of Carillion two years ago showed in stark detail how retention funds are lost when large companies fall into administration.

When Carillion failed, it resulted in millions of pounds of retention fees going unpaid, causing many of its supply chain considerable difficulty and, in the worst examples, driving them out of business.

The debate on the use of cash retentions in the construction industry will take place next Thursday, 27 February at 15.00.

Discussion will focus on addressing the issue of cash retentions and follows the government's consultation in 2018.

Recommendations will be made for legislation to protect cash retentions, while highlighting the risk to SME businesses if no action is taken.

This follows previous discussions on the subject which received cross party support.

Considerable efforts have been made by the Specialist Engineering Contractors' (SEC) Group, which has proposed legislation to protect retentions and avoid the damage done to companies when these are lost.

It has worked on a consortium led by Pay2Escrow with other partners to support the development of a retention deposit scheme.

Those wishing to follow the debate at Westminster Hall next week can do so by following Parliament TV.

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