“David Cameron says government could fine late payment firms” And pigs might fly…

Mr Cameron announces a “consultation on late payment”.

Forgive me if I don’t get too excited just yet, and here’s the headline that illustrates why.

“Government promises action after subcontractors reveal payment delays”

The only problem is that was dated 26 July 2010!

So please Mr Cameron, if you genuinely want to do something positive and would like to meet myself and some Specialist Contractors to discuss this issue, it can easily be arranged.

This is a problem that requires a fundamental shift in attitudes which must be supported by either legislation, or Government sanctions against those firms that say one thing and do another.

Here’s a quick example of how far from reality PPC and talk of payment dates for “invoices” actually is.

A publicly funded project has this provision in the contract as between the Contractor and the Sub-Contractor;

“Tax Invoices shall not be submitted to the Contractor by the Sub-Contractor”

Why should taxpayer’s money be handed over to Contractors within 7 days on some projects, and then those Contractors be allowed to hang on to that money for 60, 90 or even 120 days, and then the firms that have paid the wages and paid for the materials, and taken all the risks, then have to pay a fee to get paid if they want to be paid what is laughingly called “early”.

How, is it acceptable that at the end of the job, a Contractor can say to the Specialist Contractor, with little or no credible proof – “you delayed us for 9 weeks and you caused us to incur £300,000 of additional costs, which we are going to “set off” from what we owe you!

Please, stop supporting the firms that are destroying, and I do mean destroying the UK construction industry.”

Please let your MP, Mr Cameron, Mr Fallon and Dr Cable know how you feel via the BBC’s web site which is collecting the views of Specialist Contractors.

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