Professor applauds payment campaign

Date published: 08 February 2016

LABOUR MP Debbie Abrahams has been praised for her award-winning fair-pay fight for thousands of small businesses.

The Oldham East and Saddleworth MP used her “Be Fair — Pay on Time” campaign during a recent parliamentary debate to highlight the plight of small UK construction industry firms. Her crusade began after a constituent reported how a big-name company was driving his business to the wall by consistently paying late.

Professor Rudi Klein, chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, has applauded the campaign and also raised what he described as one of the worst types of abuse — the practice known as “retention monies”, when money is taken from due payments ostensibly as security in case a contractor fails to remedy defects.

He says the prime motive is to improve the cashflow of the other party. Some organisations — including local authorities — use the retained money to invest on the overnight money markets.

Mrs Abrahams last year received a Gold Award at the construction industry’s H&V Awards, having been nominated by Prof Klein, who said her stance on the issue is applauded by the industry.

“Small firms in the industry are extremely grateful to Debbie Abrahams for highlighting this issue in Parliament,” said Professor Klein.

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