During Prime Ministers' Questions on the 17th March 2021, the Prime Minister announced that the government is considering new rules that will exclude contractors who have been deemed grossly professionally negligent from public sector work and "government business". This comes following further announcements coming out of the Grenfell Tower Enquiry.
The Prime Minister also said he would also look at proposals for a new tax on the building products industry to partly pay for the cost of cladding remediation works.
Whilst in their infancy, if they come to fruition, the proposals will join a number of cladding measures including:
- levies being drawn up to get developers to help fund the cladding remediation programme;
- the recently published RICS guidelines on EWS1 forms; and
- the government's pledge to pay to remove cladding on buildings more than 6 storeys tall with a finance scheme for leaseholders in shorter buildings.
This all shows a clear appetite in government to try and solve the cladding problem and even make potentially lasting changes to the construction industry in their desire to prevent another Grenfell style tragedy. Given the government's eagerness, we may well see tax on materials and contractor exclusions from public projects sooner rather than later.