Construction Bill reaches 1,000 days in Oireachtas

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has called on the Government to give a specific commitment for when they will enact the Construction Contracts Bill, ahead of its 1,000th day in the Oireachtas tomorrow (Wednesday 6th February).  The legislation, which aims to ease the process of payments to construction contractors was originally introduced as a Private Members Bill by Senator Feargal Quinn on 12th May 2010.

The Bill has received cross party support and the Government has repeatedly committed to ensuring its swift enactment.  However since the Bill passed through the Second Stage in the Dáil on 20th June 2012, there has been no movement to advance the legislation to the next step.

“The Government’s delay in progressing this legislation is leading to widespread problems throughout the construction industry,” said CIF Director Don O’Sullivan.  “Every day our offices are hearing of new incidents where construction companies are getting into financial trouble because of payments being delayed.  These payment delays have implications for these constructors, their employees and the future viability of their companies.

“Everyone is aware of construction companies who have gone bust.  Passing this legislation would help reduce the number of companies who are awaiting payments.  That would ensure companies being paid on time and reduce the numbers of construction contractors going out of business.

“The Government keeps telling us that they are committed to passing this Bill, but yet we see no progress.  So with the legislation having reached the 1,000 day mark on the Oireachtas books we are calling on the Government to give a specific deadline for when they will enact this legislation.  Our industry needs to know so that we can make proper plans.  Contractors need to be told how much longer they are going to have to wait before this Bill becomes law.

“We have seen how the lack of legislation is impacting on construction work all over the country.  The recent examples of Kilfinane National School and the Pepsi project in Cork are just the tip of the iceberg.  This is an issue in practically every part of the country at this stage.

“The Government’s delay in progressing this legislation is starting to be as problematic for the construction industry as the payment delays they are supposed to be tackling.  They need to clarify what their intention is and stop dragging their feet,” Mr. O’Sullivan concluded.