The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) was a co-signatory to the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) letter to the Prime Minister today.

The letter requests clear and visible encouragement and support for the production of building materials to continue, if at all possible, and for builders’, plumbing and electrical merchants to remain open so that essential maintenance and construction works can continue. 

The CLC, which comprises the CEOs of the 11 leading federations and representative bodies across the construction industry, has appealed to the Government to both recognise and support the essential role of the construction industry during the current crisis and to put in place measures to reduce current cashflow pressures affecting every business, which is essential if they are to play a full role in supporting a strong economic recovery.

The CLC has asked the Prime Minister to:

  • suspend PAYE and CIS tax due to HMRC in April and May for construction and consultancy firms and workers with no financial penalty 
  • defer/cancel Apprenticeship Levy payments for the duration of the crisis
  • advise all public sector clients, regulated utilities and firms in the private sector to expedite cash flow throughout the supply chain
  • support the directors of micro-businesses, who currently fall between the support provided by the Job Retention Scheme and assistance for the self-employed
  • direct all Government bodies to release all retention monies, which are estimated to total £4.5 billion across the supply chain
  • extend the £25k SME business continuity grants scheme to the construction sector.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said:

“We are aware that merchants, building materials producers and construction workers who continue to operate through the crisis are being criticised by members of the public, and at times hampered by public officials, who are not aware of the crucial role they are playing.  We are calling on Government to make it absolutely clear that they are essential workers playing a vital role in building and maintaining NHS estates, enabling the transport sector to function and keeping the lights on in homes around the country. 

“But of equal importance, the UK economy requires a functioning construction sector once this crisis is over to get Britain building once more.  Our letter calls on Government to take steps to save jobs and companies in the long term, and to ensure that our sector can continue to function throughout the current crisis.”