Sunday 15 December 2019

Builders here demand a level playing field

I REFER to yesterday's Irish Independent 'One in five school projects built by Northern firms'. The Construction Industry Federation recognises and welcomes the fact that it is an open market, which equally creates opportunities for Irish companies to win work abroad.

However, we demand that companies from outside the Republic are compliant with all statutory requirements -- whether in terms of tax, safety and health, environmental standards, and wages.

We are, in this regard, concerned at the apparent ineffectiveness of the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) in terms of investigating and prosecuting companies from outside the jurisdiction where breaches of obligations under its remit are thought to have occurred.

We are also concerned about the degree to which some state procurement bodies ensure compliance with these statutory obligations. We strongly feel that procurement bodies must take all necessary steps to satisfy themselves as to each company's compliance, both at the award of the contract and subsequently.

From the CIF's perspective, competition, provided it is fair and healthy, contributes to progress and innovation. Unfair and unhealthy competition has the entirely opposite effect.

Martin Whelan
Construction Industry Federation

Irish Independent

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