CITB under fire for refusing to suspend levy

Grant Prior 2 weeks ago

The Construction Industry Training Board is facing heavy criticism for refusing to suspend levy collection from contractors during the coronavirus crisis.

The training body is offering a range of measures to support the industry.

But CITB Head of Policy & External Affairs Mike Hobday told the Enquirer: “Levy suspension is not one of the support measures we are able to offer at the moment.”

He added: “CITB will, of course, support the construction industry throughout this crisis. We understand that cash flow is an immediate issue for employers and have prioritised the processing of grant claims to pay them as early as possible.”

“CITB and the wider construction sector is doing everything it possibly can at the moment to support the industry – particularly  SMEs, many of which we know are extremely vulnerable right now.

“We have just announced an apprenticeship support package, bringing forward the payment of apprenticeship grants, and further announcements will be made next week.”

The decision has sparked anger among cash-strapped contractors and industry experts.

Ian Anfield, Managing Director of Hudson Contract, said: SMEs employ tradespeople and apprentices, not the CITB or federations.

“It is astonishing that CITB acknowledges that employers need support with cash flow immediately, yet CITB is not willing to suspend its own levy collection. It is placing self-preservation above everything.

How can CITB expect SMEs to pay a levy based on PAYE and CIS payments for the financial year ending April 2019? Most construction companies will be prioritising payments to their people and a number of construction companies will inevitably default on levy payments.  

“Last year, the quango raised £135m from 62,000 micro, small and medium-sized employers to fund itself.

Given the extraordinary challenges facing the industry, the Government should order an immediate suspension of levy payments into the scheme.

“This would provide instant support to cash-strapped SMEs and in reality would have no impact on the amount or quality of training carried out.”

Hobday said: “While the entire sector has been fully focussed over the past few days on supporting construction businesses, it is disappointing that Hudson Contract Ltd appears to be using this crisis as an opportunity to pursue its own £24.7 million of unpaid levy dispute with CITB.”

Latest news

Boris urged to save UK construction industry

Industry leaders demand tax breaks, retentions returned and quick payment from clients
9 hours ago

Laing O’Rourke cuts pay for 8,000 workers

Contractors confirms cuts of up to 30% as part of "war effort" during coronavirus crisis
8 hours ago

Free training cash offer extended to larger companies

CITB grants of up to £25,000 now available to bigger contractors
3 hours ago

Kier closes Reading office with over 40 job losses

Lack of pipeline work and cost-saving plan cited as reason for closure
14 hours ago

Amey pledges full pay for sick and self isolating workers

U-turn on statutory sick pay after claim workers faced wealth or health choice
14 hours ago

Taylor Wimpey cuts exec pay and bonuses

Board takes 30% pay cut and cancels today's 2% annual pay increase
13 hours ago

Secretary of State pays tribute to construction industry

Letter from Alok Sharma spells out current official government guidance on keeping sites open
1 day ago

Amey/McAlpine told to start M6 junction 19 job

Enabling works get underway on £50m Cheshire motorway junction
13 hours ago

Clugston and Covid 19 sink Leeds civils firm

Coronavirus contract termination with zero payment notice proves final straw for Oaklands
14 hours ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

Site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
2 years ago

Giant Battersea Power Station site shut until end of April

Client decides to extend work pause after discussions with Mace and McAlpine
14 hours ago

Coronavirus update for construction: Wednesday April 1

The latest advice and information from industry trade bodies
13 hours ago

Network Rail calls for fresh engineering ideas for tunnel upgrades

Hunt on for less disruptive solutions to upgrading ageing railway tunnels
14 hours ago

Police stops create more confusion for contractors

Sites can stay open but officers are trying to stop builders getting to work
2 days ago

William Hare chief executive dies after contracting coronavirus

David Hodgkiss was the grandson of steel company founder William Hare
2 days ago

Costain banks on critical projects to save 50% of revenue

Directors join ranks of firms taking 30% pay cut
2 days ago

Plans go in for £258m Birmingham resi tower

Moda submits 722 homes for rent plan as it looks beyond coronavirus epidemic
2 days ago

Coronavirus update for construction: Tuesday 31

The latest advice and information from industry trade bodies
2 days ago

BAM Construct restarts work on sites

Mace pauses all work for another week under "rolling suspension"
2 days ago

Hard hat cameras help sites keep working remotely

Technology helping contractors cope during coronavirus crisis
2 days ago

Laing O’Rourke top bosses take 30% pay cut

Around 90 senior directors will see salaries reduced
2 days ago

Kier cuts staff salaries by up to 20%

Salary cuts among 6,500 staff as core sites remain open, but Kier Living jobs closed
3 days ago

Police threaten to fine contractors on way to work

Willmott Dixon asks subcontractors and staff to carry letters to avoid fines
5 days ago

Taylor Woodrow return to profit lifts Vinci UK

Civils arm saw 13 of 17 projects it bid delayed or cancelled
2 days ago

JCB reopens factory to start building ventilators

Plant giant will fabricate steel control panel housings for Dyson designed ventilators
3 days ago

Steel and brickwork trade bodies take stand on Covid 19 safety

Trade bodies lead fight back against bullying main contractors and clients
3 days ago

£300m London new-build housing deal winners

Ardmore, Bouygues, Kier and Midgard win places for first time for £10m-plus schemes
3 days ago

Builders in cross-fire as some clients in Scotland fail to halt work

Contractors blame clients for not instructing work to stop
3 days ago

Unsafe cladding replacement work a priority to continue

Latest government coronavirus construction policy update
4 days ago

Live webinar for contractors interested in £600m power plant

Virtual procurement event for major north London project: Register now
3 days ago

Contractor services