TAL’s insolvency has caused outrage among small firms in Northern Ireland’s construction industry, according to the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group, which has condemned the lack of payment security for small firms.
SEC national executive officer Alfie Watterson said that the bulk of the £3.6m would have been outstanding progress payments and retention monies.
Mr Watterson said that two measures were needed:
- all progress payments relating to construction works in the Northern Ireland public sector should be made through project bank accounts, and
- all cash retentions should be ring-fenced in a secure trust account.
In February, a Lurgan-based mechanical services firm, Maurice Stevenson Ltd, has gone into administration after 100 years of trading. This has primarily resulted from insolvencies of main contractors and the failure by others to discharge outstanding payments.