29 Aug 2017

Construction News has likened the current consensus vote on the CITB’s future to the EU referendum.

A binary vote with two distinct camps: those wanting to maintain the status quo, or a reformed status quo, against those who wanted to break away from the way things had been done for decades.

Yet there is one area that the two votes so far differ.

When the UK went to the polls last year, 72 per cent of registered voters turned out, the highest since the 1992 general election.

So far the turnout for the CITB consensus hasn’t garnered the same level of response.

Build UK has told Construction News responses to its survey, which opened on 4 July, have so far fallen short of expectations. This might be due to the time of year  it’s holiday season after all.

But the group, which represents the UK’s biggest construction firms and specialists, is keen for its members to engage.

This has been supported by a number of other consensus bodies, with the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the British Woodworking Federation and Finishes and Interiors Federation all calling on their members to get involved and have their say on the CITB’s future.

NFDC chief executive Howard Button said it was essential the vote carried proper industry representation. And CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner emphasised the importance of all firms taking the opportunity to have their say.

The choice voters will be given is on whether to scrap the levy, thereby ending the CITB.

Or, the alternative: pay a reduced levy of 0.35 per cent on PAYE employees.

But the window to vote is getting smaller.

Build UK’s consensus window will close on 4 September. CECA, meanwhile, is engaging with members and will hand responses to the CITB next month.

The Home Builders Federation will also be sending out letters to members for responses in the coming weeks.

The NFDC will launch a postal vote in the first week of September, while the Finishes and Interiors Federation opens voting for members on the 4 September for a three-week period.

The CITB is also currently carrying out the surveying of 6,000 non-federation affiliated firms to have their say, with this process coming to a close next month.

To CITB, or not to CITB: that is the question, but the industry seemingly needs a lot more answers.

If you have a view on the CITB, good or bad, it is imperative you voice it and cast your vote.

The clock is ticking, make sure that you vote!