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Hudson loses CITB levy challenge

19 Apr 16 An attempt by payroll firm Hudson Contract Services to challenge the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) levy has failed.

Hudson Contract Services launched a judicial review against the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), with CITB named as an interested party.

It looked at aspects of the CITB levy and last year’s reforms of the system.

The case was heard on 1st and 2nd March 2016 at the Royal Courts of Justice, London. The judgment was given on 18th April with the judge ruling in favour of BIS and CITB. This ruling upholds the current CITB levy order and the levy simplification process.

The judge, ruling in favour of BIS and CITB, dismissed all of the claims by Hudson, and ordered the company pay CITB’s legal costs.

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CITB director of policy Steve Radley said: “This outcome is good news for the construction industry. It confirms that the 2015 CITB levy order and levy simplification are legal. We worked with industry for two years to make the levy simpler and fairer, and deliver more for construction firms. We are pleased that the benefits of these changes will be felt right across our industry, as planned.

“We can now deliver on our commitment to return a greater share of levy funding to employers and make it work better for them.”

However, a spokesperson for Hudson Contract said: "The CITB and the levy system need urgent reform.  These proceedings have shown just how wide-ranging and unaccountable the CITB’s powers are. The levy is intended to fund training, yet the CITB admits that there is no requirement that they actually spend a single penny on training. If they choose, they can use all the money to cover their board's expenses.

"SMEs who are vital to our economic growth are getting short-changed, and the country is failing to train as many young workers as it could. This is quangoism at its most pernicious and destructive."

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