It was with some incredulity and confusion that I read the news item “Industry slams payment law plans” (13 November, page 12)

A new grouping (yet another!), the Contractors Legal Group, has attacked amendments to the Construction Act. The new provisions were “horrendously complicated” and would not deliver improved payment.

The reason for my incredulity was that the organisations comprising this new group maintained a deathly silence when amendments to simplify the provisions were laid in both the House of Lords and the Commons. In fact, the amendments would have reduced the verbiage by more than a half and, at the same time, improve the drafting.

Speaking earlier in the year in the House of Lords, Lord Brett – on behalf of the government – referred to the organisations in the Contractors Legal Group as representing a consensus in the industry supporting the government’s changes. So, what is the truth in all this? It would be nice to know.

Rudi Klein, chief executive, Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group