A government plan barring late-paying contractors from bidding for major public contracts comes into effect in September. But there are loopholes
Any hope main contractors may have held in their hearts that Boris Johnson’s new government would drop the fair payment agenda pushed relentlessly under Theresa May’s premiership effectively ended on 24 July. That was the day the new prime minister appointed Oliver Dowden to the role of paymaster general.
Dowden had pushed through a plan to block poor payers from new government work as a junior minister in the Cabinet Office, and with his promotion to a more senior role in the same department, the chance of a change of tack ended.
While governments of various stripes have been attempting to improve the payment culture in construction for the best part of 20 years, Dowden’s gambit, prompted by the uproar following the Carillion collapse, is much more ambitious. And for main contractors unwilling to clean up their act, it threatens to hit them where it hurts – in their wallets.
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