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CIF call to target public sector nixers

Friday, June 27 13:47:02

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has called on the Government and Revenue to help stamp out shadow economy activity on State contracts.

It wants the Government to extend inspections to all contractors operating on all public projects.

The CIF said such a change in approach would prevent this work going to those misusing the system and ensure that legitimate operators were awarded work.

"Most people will be aware that there is a shadow economy problem in the Irish construction sector still,” said CIF Director General Tom Parlon. "So we were not surprised when the latest reports arose in the Dáil of this type of activity as we receive reports of this nature regularly from our members. There are still a substantial number of contractors operating outside the law in this country – not paying their taxes, not meeting their employment obligations and using social welfare to help subsidise wages."

"This is hitting the legitimate contractors, specialist contractors and sub contractors who are missing out on projects because they are being undercut when tendering for work. That is not what the economy needs and it is not in the interests of the State. It is particularly galling when these problems occur on public projects - as was recently highlighted in the Dail. The only way to stamp out this activity is to change the inspections regime and ensure that all contractors are being monitored. We also need to extend the inspections to all public projects."

"Currently where inspections do take place they are usually limited to the main contractor. However we believe that all contractors - specialist contractors, sub contractors and main contractors should be subject to these inspections. We also believe that the inspection process needs to be widened to ensure that all public projects are covered. If these steps were taken then we would eliminate black economy activity on public projects very quickly."