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Tories join war against retentions

THE TORY party has thrown its weight behind an industry drive to eradicate retentions from public sector contracts.

Shadow trade and industry minister Henry Bellingham has pledged to increase pressure on the Government after ministers refused to take forward a select committee's recommendation to phase out the system by 2007.

Mr Bellingham told Construction News: 'There is no cost involved in removing retentions and there is no major barrier of resistance in the industry. I think the Government has missed a golden opportunity.

'When you consider the amount of money the Government is spending on public work, I'm bemused as to why it has not taken the committee's recommendations forward.'

Leaders of the industry's specialist contractors will meet Mr Bellingham next week to shore up support for the campaign.