95% of the works are left out of the Government's anti-inflation plan for construction

The construction sector is unable to escape the wave of inflation, despite the efforts of the Government. In March, the Executive approved a review of the prices of public works contracts to reflect the impact of rising prices on materials during the project. At the end of the same month, it approved an extension of that price review to cover more works. And despite this, this 'lifeline' has only reached 5% of the works and 10% of the construction companies.

This is stated by the National Confederation of Construction (CNC) in a report published this Tuesday. The employer of the small builders ensures that the costs of the works have grown by 30% since the end of 2020, which leaves companies in the sector in a very complex situation and has left almost 500 tenders deserted.

For this reason, the sector demands a third decree that improves the Government's price revision. One that includes the works started from 2021, because 80% of the works tendered in the last three years have a duration of less than one year. The current rule leaves this period up in the air, because it explains that the price review “may not be less than one year per year nor more than two years per year”. The administrations are interpreting that in order to apply the exceptional price revision, the duration of the work should not be less than one year, which should be, according to the CNC, to »a very important number of works«.

Likewise, the organization claims to lower the threshold to access the price review. At the moment, the contractor has to prove that the price of four materials became more expensive by at least 5% in 2021 to access government aid. Small construction companies ask that this threshold be lowered to 2%, in addition to introducing more materials into the calculation.

For construction companies, it is also key that the price revision includes the price of energy. A measure that is supported by the Ministry of Transport but to which the Treasury refuses. The CNC recalls that energy represents 30% of the total cost and proposes alternatives for it to be included in the procedure that determines the increase in the cost of a work in a specific period.

Similarly, CNC urges to eliminate the maximum compensation value 20% of the contract award price and to take into account the 50% limit.

According to data from the INE, in March ceramics had risen by 40%, aluminum by 55%, wood by 16%, copper by 20%, iron and steel materials by 50%, energy by 84% and refining of oil another 53%. All this has caused a 30% increase in the price of works since the end of 2020.

The president of the CNC, Pedro Fernández Alén, explained this Tuesday that autonomous communities such as Galicia, Andalusia, Murcia, Aragón, Valencia, Extremadura and Catalonia are being "much more flexible" in the application of the regulations, since they have introduced modifications . "These autonomous communities have been aware of the problem with their local companies, which are medium-sized."

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