Sinn Féin Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said that it is inexcusable that sub-contractors caught up in the collapse of Carillion have not been protected by the Irish Government.
These sub-contractors could have been protected by the Irish Government if it had chosen to include article 71.3 of Directive 2014/24/EU into domestic legislation. The article provides that sub-contractors can get paid directly by the contracting authority.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“This Government appears to have learnt nothing from the last collapse of the Irish building industry.
“The building industry has changed with fewer and much larger developers dominating the market, and with the majority of trade and craft workers being forced down the sub- contractor route leaving them even more vulnerable to forces outside their control.
“The financial collapse of a number large developers in recent times has left suppliers and sub-contractors left carrying an unfair burden.
“The current Government has also exacerbated the market by issuing large or multiple school contracts that are beyond the resources of many Irish based building companies and therefore are reliant on larger entities.
“The ineptitude and failure of Government to include sub-contractors in Irish legislation when the directive was transposed into Irish Law is utterly negligent and has now left them high and dry.
“This failure, combined with its inability to carry out proper due diligence when selecting the main contractor during the procurement process, means it cannot now ignore the plight of these sub-contractors and suppliers who are left without payment for the work and the equipment they have supplied to the schools concerned.
“These sub-contractors and suppliers have been robbed of millions of euro and their businesses facing financial ruin.
“Losses such as those affected by the collapse of Carillion and Sammon have become a regular feature of the Irish Construction Sector over the past ten years, resulting in the collapse of many firms.
“It is understandable that many sub-contractors are asking why the Irish government chose not to include the provision for sub-contractors to get paid directly by the contracting authority when the EU directive was transposed into Irish law.”