Construction Confederation chief executive says fine system based on turnover could result in crippling fines

Stephen Ratcliffe, chief executive, Construction Confederation

In recent years, the industry has gone to great lengths to stamp out the practice of cover pricing. For example, companies are already ensuring that employees understand requirements for compliance and have written to all staff establishing protocols.

We are concerned that, because the OFT fines system is based on turnovers, there is a risk that fines will be disproportionate in an industry which has high turnovers and relatively small profit margins.

Alan Ritchie, general secretary, UCATT

The widespread and systematic price fixing uncovered by the OFT is an inevitable consequence of the systematic privatisation and outsourcing of public sector construction work, especially in local authorities.

It is outrageous that ordinary workers have paid for the featherbedding of fat cat construction bosses, through their tax and council tax payments. The OFT must levy the maximum possible penalties on these companies. We will monitor the situation in order to ensure swift is taken.