The potential blockade of the Pepsi building project in Cork would not have arisen if the Government had passed the Construction Contracts Bill, according to the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). The Federation said the Government’s delay in bringing the Bill through the Oireachtas is leading to problems for construction contractors all over the country. The Bill has now been on the Oireachtas books for over 988 days.
The Construction Contracts Bill is a piece of legislation which seeks to ease the process of payments made to construction contractors. It removes the possibility of payments being withheld for extended periods of time.
In November last year another example of the problems caused by the delay in enacting the legislation came to light when subcontractors tried to remove materials from Kilfinane National School in Limerick. According to the CIF there are an increasing number of other conflicts along these lines happening all over Ireland.
“The problems at the Pepsi development are not the first high profile incident caused by the delay in passing the legislation,” said CIF Director General Tom Parlon. “Late last year there was national coverage when subcontractors working on Kilfinane National School tried to remove fixtures and fittings from the school over payments that were not made.
“However these two examples are just the tip of the iceberg. We’re repeatedly hearing other examples of the problems the delay with this legislation is causing our members. It just highlights why it is so important that this legislation is passed.
“This legislation has across the board support so we can’t understand why the Government is delaying it. After the last problems were highlighted the Government gave a commitment that the Government amendments would be brought to Cabinet in January. Yet we have official word from the Tánaiste on the Dáil record that this still has not happened. The Government also said they would have the legislation enacted by the end of February but given the slow record of movement the Government has on this Bill that timeline must also be in doubt.
“If the Government continues to prolong the passage of this legislation we will see more issues like the Pepsi project and more incidents like Kilfinane National School happening all over Ireland. Every Government TD can expect to run into a problem of this type in their constituency if this legislation is delayed much longer,” Mr. Parlon concluded.