Keep calm and KBO

Building firms have battled their way through the pandemic.

They kept calm and carried on during the public health crisis when other sectors stopped altogether or retreated to work from home. The dynamic owner-managed businesses we support have continued to deliver the housing and infrastructure our nation needs to succeed in the future.

So at a time when the industry should be applauded for its bravery, ingenuity and can-do attitude, it instead faces the taxman and CITB desperate for funding amid falling revenues.

HMRC has resumed pursuing companies for breaches of CIS regulations and employment status and is now attempting to turn construction firms into tax inspectors with new supplier due diligence rules. HMRC has also warned that 5-10 per cent of furlough claims are likely to be wrong and will be targeting employers for any abuses of the scheme. If we can help your company in any way with these issues, drop me a line or pick up the phone.

Meanwhile, CITB has resumed levy collection this month after a six-month pause. We are being contacted by firms which have received bills at the worst possible time when they are battling to get back to normal trading. The self-serving quango has announced a programme of redundancies with the usual golden goodbyes, so readers will be frustrated to hear where their hard-earned money will be going.

By our reckoning, CITB has spent £23.4 million on redundancies in the last five years alone, with bundles of cash being handed to useless cronies at the top of the CITB’s bloated management organisation. No wonder the board used covid as an excuse to scrap consensus this year. We hope the Government doesn’t allow CITB to pull the same trick in 2021.

Until next time, KBO (Keep Buggering On) as Sir Winston Churchill used to end his calls.

Tags: Opinions, CITB, HMRC
Ian Anfield

Ian Anfield

Managing Director, Hudson Contract

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