CITB agrees to cut levy bills by 25% for two years

Grant Prior 4 months ago
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CITB has revealed plans to cut levy bills by 25% over the next two years and give cash-strapped contractors more time to pay.

Employers will continue to have a payment holiday on the levy until September and then up to a full year to pay the 2020/21 levy.

CITB will also offer a 50% discount on the 2021/22 levy rate meaning employers will pay 18 months’ levy out of 24 making an overall saving of 25% across two years.

Practical example of how the changes affect contractors

An employer with an average annual levy bill of £1,200 would normally pay £2,400 over 2020-22. Instead, they will pay nothing from April to August this year and then take advantage of spreading the costs – £100 per month up to February 2022, paying £1,800 overall

Chief Executive Sarah Beale said: “This represents a radical plan of action that balances the need for a reduction in the Levy at this time, alongside vital investment in the skills needed by employers now and in the future.

“It is the result of hundreds of conversations with employers across the length and breadth of Britain and I’m confident it meets the sector’s immediate needs.

“We are committed to making the Levy work hard to protect apprenticeships and support hard-pressed employers as they equip themselves for the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

The CITB also said it would not be holding its planned triennial consensus consultation this year when the industry is given a chance to vote on the future of the organisation.

It will now seek the views of industry employers and federations about the development of a new strategic plan, covering 2021-23, with the plan expected to be published in September.

Beale said: “We have spoken to employers and federations and most have suggested that they want us to focus full-time on helping the industry meet the challenges posed by Covid.

“We have confirmed  with the Department for Education that we will not run the usual Consensus process and instead we will speak to employers and industry groups to seek their views on our plans for next year.”

The move has angered some trade federations.

Nick Sangwin, National Chair of the Federation of Builders said: “The CITB has announced a major shake-up in its approach to delivering skills and training, cutting swathes of projects and programmes without giving industry any say in its approach, either this year or next.

“While the temporary cut in Levy is warmly welcomed and will be helpful, CITB’s plans for its future support of industry will be critical and must be put to industry.

“We cannot have a situation whereby the CITB avoids accountability at the most crucial time in our industry’s fragile recovery. Two years is too long to wait and we will be making that representation to the Government”.

As a result of these moves CITB said its levy income over the two-year period, 2020-22 will fall by £166m.

CITB’s cash reserves, which stood at £95m, are expected to fall to £17m by the end of August and to £8m by the end of March.

Firm offers to pay for industry survey to see if CITB is wanted

Hudson Contract is offering to pay for an industry wide survey to see if levy payers want the CITB to continue.

The CIS payroll company said it will commission YouGov to carry out research after CITB said it will not hold its planned consensus vote this year.

Ian Anfield, managing director at Hudson Contract, said: “It is shameful that CITB is using coronavirus to shield itself from being accountable to the industry it claims to support.

“This amounts to taxation without representation and will offend the countless hard working entrepreneurs who are getting Britain building at this difficult time.

“With the vast majority of the industry back on sites there is no reason why the consensus process cannot go ahead.

“We can only conclude that CITB fears the democratic outcome and the board has decided if it cannot risk consensus it must avoid the process altogether.

“We are offering to commission YouGov as an independent research company
to carry out consensus on behalf of our industry.

“We doubt CITB would provide YouGov with a list of levy payers  so we invite all 14 consensus federations to work directly with YouGov on consensus.

“Federations claim to represent their members above all else so we would expect them to grasp this opportunity which will not cost them a penny.”

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