Follow @PoliticsIE
 
 
 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: New government, same raw deal for construction subcontractors - when will new laws be passed?

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member DaveM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    16,004
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default New government, same raw deal for construction subcontractors - when will new laws be passed?

    In May 2010 Senator Feargal Quinn introduced the Construction Contracts Bill 2010 to the Oireachtas. This bill is intended to bring an end to the chaotic payment practices which dog the construction industry by affording contractors and, most pertinently, subcontractors with a range of statutory rights and implementing a fast track adjudication procedure to allow disputes to be settled in a timely manner. It has widespread support amongst contractors across the industry and also has the backing of the Construction Industry Federation.

    Details of the Bill:

    Construction Contracts Bill 2010 [Seanad] [PMB] (Number 21 of 2010) - Tithe an Oireachtais

    A good summation of the Bill provided by Arthur Cox Solicitors:

    The Construction Contracts Bill 2010: Overview | Projects Group Newsletter: On Track, Spring 2011 | Arthur Cox | Solicitors, Lawyers | Ireland

    Anyone who has any experience of working in the construction industry, particularly since the economic collapse, will know how badly this is needed. Subcontractors are, to put it in simple terms, being screwed continuously by main contractors who are often acting in an unscrupulous manner rather than out of their own financial distress. Many jobs have been lost and many families have faced hardship as subcontractors, often very small or single man operations, are left high and dry by main contractors who have been paid in full and are left out of pocket and with no right to take back materials or goods supplied.

    When the Bill was introduced in 2010 it was supported by the Department of Finance who took up the baton and ran with it. Unfortunately running obviously isn't their strong point as almost three years later and almost two years into the current administration the Bill has not been enacted and continues to crawl through the Oireachtas in a state of limbo.

    Enough has been said and written about the unhealthy links between the bigger players in the construction industry and our political parties in recent years. We saw the introduction of improved standards for residential construction delayed until after the end of the housing boom.

    Now we see the government enjoying plummeting tender prices for public works projects even though labour and material prices have not dropped by anywhere near that amount. If a contractor's tender is below cost then somebody has to lose out and invariably it's subcontractors who are left to carry the can.

    So when will this be resolved? The Dáil debate last May on the Bill was littered with TDs expressing their wholehearted support and Minister of State Brian Hayes expressing his hope that it would become law before the summer recess. Eight months later and still nothing.

    Do the government care about subcontractors or are they happy to string out the process while they get their projects built at below cost prices? With FF it was hardly surprising to see small contractors ignored but this government should be ashamed of their inaction.
    Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.

  2. #2
    Moderator Munnkeyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    In a tree.
    Posts
    7,327
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)

    Default

    Good thread, cheers DaveM. This is why I love P.ie; well-written, succinct and cogent OPs.
    Flash a-ah - King of the impossible

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    22,721
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Did the much-vilified presidential candidate Sean Gallagher not try to establish some code of behaviour in this area?

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member DaveM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    16,004
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gatsbygirl20 View Post
    Did the much-vilified presidential candidate Sean Gallagher not try to establish some code of behaviour in this area?
    He was involved with Feargal Quinn in the drafting of the bill. In fairness to Sean Gallagher he was beating the drum on this one for a long time before he ran for the Áras and he deserves credit for that.
    Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Kerry
    Posts
    3,186
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    I hear where your coming from but why can't subcontractors apply good business practices by ensuring contracts contain clauses to ensure payment ? For example , a percentage up front followed by payment on completion ect . Or they could apply terms of sale where they retain ownership of goods until paid for etc.
    This is what happens in other industries , why do you need separate legislation for the construction industry ? I'm not being difficult I'm just trying to point out some realities , ie that a job is not worth doing unless you get paid for it !

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Member DaveM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    16,004
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by toconn View Post
    I hear where your coming from but why can't subcontractors apply good business practices by ensuring contracts contain clauses to ensure payment ? For example , a percentage up front followed by payment on completion ect . Or they could apply terms of sale where they retain ownership of goods until paid for etc.
    This is what happens in other industries , why do you need separate legislation for the construction industry ? I'm not being difficult I'm just trying to point out some realities , ie that a job is not worth doing unless you get paid for it !
    It's a fair point and in many instances proper contracts are put in place. However at the lower end of the industry verbal or very basic written agreements are common and then you have the added issue of unenvisaged additional works or incidental extras over and above the additional contract price. Plus once materials and goods become an integral part of a building title passes regardless of payment.

    Also in a depressed market where you have to fight hard for work do you want to be the one scaring off potential clients by talking in legal terms when your competitors aren't? These guys are still in business by the skin of their teeth.

    Proper protection in the form of this bill is needed, it's been in the Oireachtas for almost three years and all it needs is for the finger to be pulled out to get it onto the statute books.
    Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10,497
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Remind me again when the new public sector contracts came into force...

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member DaveM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    16,004
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by General Mayhem View Post
    Remind me again when the new public sector contracts came into force...
    February 2007 IIRC. Why?
    Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10,497
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    February 2007 IIRC. Why?
    Sorry. Must pee.

    LOL.

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,553
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    From what I've heard, it's extremely cut throat in the construction sector, even more so than before the crash. Is it within the remit of the CIF to push for this?

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •