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England and Wales High Court (Technology and Construction Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Technology and Construction Court) Decisions >> Ruttle Plant Hire Ltd v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (No. 3)  EWHC 730 (TCC) (20 March 2008)
Cite as:  1 All ER (Comm) 73,  EWHC 730 (TCC)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
TECHNOLOGY AND CONSTRUCTION COURT
133-137 Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1HD
B e f o r e :
| RUTTLE PLANT HIRE LIMITED
|- and -
|THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS
6th Floor, 12-14 New Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1AG
Telephone No: 020 7936 6000. Fax No: 020 7427 0093
DX 410 LDE email@example.com
MR JONATHAN ACTON DAVIS QC, MS KASSIE SMITH and MS FIONA BANKS (instructed by Eversheds LLP) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
Hearing Dates: 3, 4, 5, 10, and 11 March 2008
Crown Copyright ©
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE COULSON:
This is the Judgment in respect of the second round of preliminary issues in this case. It is, I think, Judgment Number 3 in the sequence.
|B.||The CSF Contract|
|C.||The New Preliminary Issues|
|F.||Off Hire Charges|
"... that the parties will now be in a position to close off the accounts on the CSF contract without further assistance from the Court ... it is unlikely in practice that any further trial will be required ...".
"11. Having given judgment promptly at the end of the trial, I hoped and expected that the parties would respond by dealing with ancillary matters swiftly and efficiently. That expectation was not fulfilled. Over three months elapsed before the parties returned to Court to argue about outstanding costs issues. No less than five months elapsed before the claimant applied to make amendments, which are said to be consequential on the Preliminary Issues judgment.
12. The Technology and Construction Court endeavours to provide an efficient service to the business community, in particular by the prompt delivery of judgments. That process is not assisted if the parties or their lawyers then delay for months on end before dealing with consequential matters. ...
51. At the end of the hearing last December, I requested the lawyers to co-operate in drawing up an order to give effect to the Court's judgment. That process took over three months, which is not acceptable. ...
52. Finally, I turn to the future conduct of this litigation. It will not be appropriate for this Court to try any further preliminary or generic issues. All outstanding issues between the parties must be determined in a single trial. I think that the best way forward is for this Court to give directions for the future conduct of the litigation at a Case Management Conference in the near future. The arrangements for that Case Management Conference should be made promptly."
B. THE CSF CONTRACT
B.1 The Contract Documents
"... that the rates to be notified would be the contractual rates unless MAFF raised any objection within a reasonable time after notification. Neither party expected any objection to be raised because those rates would be derived from the FCEC schedules."
"Where a local contractor is employed, his services should be secured at the most economical rate. Contractors' charges are usually based on the cost of actual wages paid (including bonuses and time allowed for travelling but excluding subsistence and fares), together with an 'on cost' which is intended to cover national insurances and graduated pensions, third party and employers' liability and insurances, holiday and sick pay, training levy, redundancy payments, contributions, site supervision, hand tools and other small gear, protective clothing and office overheads and profits.
Charges for the hire of plant are normally based upon fixed inclusive rates, per hour or per day or per week. These charges do not attract the overheads payable on labour charges but they do attract a percentage charge for fuel and maintenance. Hire rates for most items of plant likely to be needed are set out in the Day Works Schedules of the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors [FCEC].
Where materials are supplied by the contractor, he should charge these at cost price plus a small addition not exceeding 12.5% for overheads. Many contractors have undertaken work in the past and based their charges on the Day Works Schedules of the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors. There is no objection to DVM concluding arrangements with local contractors who will carry out the work on the basis of these Schedules. However, the rates quoted in the Schedules must be taken as maximum rates the Ministry is prepared to pay. In many cases a small local firm should be able to carry out the work at rates lower than those laid down by the Federation since their overheads, degree of supervision and general service may be something less than that provided by the major contractors."
"36. The second page of this fax was headed 'Plant rates excluding drivers and/or operators'. On the lefthand side of this page there is a description of various items of plant. In the middle column of this page there is a rate set out either per hour or per day for each item of plant and on the right-hand side there is a column headed 'Reference'. The references given are to various sections of the FCEC schedules in order to show how the rate is derived. In one case there is a reference to a star rate. That is intended to be a reasonable rate fixed having regard to other rates set out in the FCEC schedules. In two instances there is reference to pro rata and then an item in FCEC. That is a rate which is put forward by way of extrapolation from the rates shown in the FCEC schedules."
"282. After receiving the 21st August plant list, Mr Hurn of MAFF compared it with the rates submitted by another contractor, BQP. Mr Hurn noted that the rates were very similar. He therefore concluded that those rates were in accordance with standard industry practice and were acceptable. In those circumstances Mr Hurn did not find it necessary to seek approval of those rates from anyone more senior. Neither Mr Hurn nor anyone else at MAFF indicated any objection to those rates either within a reasonable time or at all. Instead, MAFF continued to use plant supplied by Ruttle and to call off further plant as and when they needed it."
"38. The second page of this fax again contains a list of plant types. This includes both the plant types listed previously and some further plant types which had not been mentioned in the earlier fax. In respect of each plant type a rate is shown and again in respect of each rate there is also given a reference to the FCEC schedules, where applicable, and in some instances either a star rate or a pro rata rate is shown. Towards the right-hand side of this schedule there is a column headed 'Deduct 35%' and to the right of that there is a column headed 'Proposed rate'. The entries in the column headed 'Proposed rate' are all 65% of the figures shown in the column which is headed 'Rate'. I shall refer to the second page of Mr O'Connor's fax dated 31st August as 'the 31st August plant list'."
"23. Commencement and termination of hire (Transport of Plant):
(a) The hire period shall commence from the time when the plant leaves Owner's depot or place where last employed and shall continue until the plant is received back at the Owner's named depot or equal, but an allowance shall be made of not more than one day's hire charge each way for travelling time. If the plant be used on day of travelling full hire rates shall be paid for the period of use on that day. If more than one day be properly and unavoidably occupied in transporting the plant a hire charge at idle time rates shall be payable for such extra time, provided that where plant is hired for a total period of less than one week, the full hire rate shall be paid from the date of dispatch to the date of return to the Owner's named depot or equal.
(b) An allowance of not more than one day's travelling time shall be allowed when the plant is travelling to a site other than that specified in the Contract provided that:
(i) consent to such transfer has been given by the Owner under clause 16, and
(ii) the plant is moved by means other than that under its own power, and
(iii) the plant shall have been on the site specified in the Contract or on any other site to which consent to transfer has been given under clause 16 for a period of at least 14 days.
24. Notice of Termination of Contract
Where the period of hire is indeterminate or having been defined becomes indeterminate the Contract shall be determinable by seven days' notice in writing given by either party to the other (except in cases where the plant has been lost or damaged). In the event of the Hirer desiring to terminate the Contract and failing to give such notice, hire for the period of the seven days' notice shall be chargeable at the idle time rates in lieu. Notice given by the Hirer to the Owner's driver or operator shall not be deemed to constitute compliance with the provisions of this Clause.
25. Idle Time
When plant works for any time during a guaranteed minimum period, then the whole of that guaranteed minimum period should be charged as working time. If the plant is idle for the whole of a guaranteed minimum period the charge shall be two thirds of the hire rate. In any case no period less than one day should be reckoned as idle time. Where an "All-in" rate is charged, idle time is charged on the machine element only. A full rate will be charged for the operator.
The Hirer shall pay the cost of and, if required by the Owner, arrange transport of the plant from the Owner's depot or equal to the site and return to named depot or equal on completion of the hire period."
B.2 The Other Findings of Jackson J
B.2.1 Clause 24
B.2.2 Plant Not in Use
B2.3 The 35%
B.2.4 Star Rates
"Where an item of plant does not feature in the lists of plant rates notified by the Claimant to the Defendant on either 21st or 31st August and does not have a rate specified in the FCEC 1992 schedules, then in those circumstances a reasonable rate should be agreed between the parties for that item of plant based upon industry custom and practice."
C. THE PRELIMINARY ISSUES
C.2 The Preliminary Issues
"1. In the absence of Labour, Plant and Materials Record Sheets provided to the Defendant by the Claimant, what alternative information is an adequate form of substantiating evidence in relation to charges made by the Claimant for labour, plant and materials? In the event of Labour, Plant and Materials Record Sheets not being available, where the Defendant can prove that there is contradictory or inconsistent alternative information available which would be an adequate form of substantiating evidence in relation to charges made by the Claimant for labour, plant and materials, how is that information to be treated?"
(a) working foremen's logs;
(b) individual time sheets for labour and plant;
(c) manuscript diary sheets;
(d) job requests;
(e) materials invoices;
(f) original invoices for the provision of labour and plant with calculation sheets and time sheets;
(g) the claimant's plant list and tracking books;
(h) labour agency timesheets and invoices;
(i) files containing invoices received by the claimant from third parties for materials;
(j) petty cash receipts for materials and in relation to subsistence;
(k) hotel receipts/invoices for accommodation charges;
(l) petty cash receipts for subsistence;
(m) copy invoices and other receipts for accommodation and an accommodation record book; and
(n) DEFRA's own records, which it was contractually required to maintain and keep, and any other non-contractual documentation in the possession of DEFRA which supports the claimant's claims for payment.
"2. Was it a term of the contract between the parties that the Claimant would only charge the Defendant for subsistence where it could provide substantiating evidence? If so, what constitutes substantiating evidence in these circumstances?"
"3. Where items of plant not contained within the 'Schedule of Day Works carried out incidental to Contract Work' produced by FCEC dated 22nd January 1990 ('the FCEC schedule') and the parties have been unable to agree plant hire rates, what are the appropriate plant rates to be used for the Claimant to charge the Defendant?"
"4. Are those documents attached and listed at Schedule 1 sufficient to constitute notice to off-hire the particular items of plant mentioned in such documents so as to comply with the implied contractual term requiring the Defendant to give the Claimant seven days' notice to off-hire that item of plant?"
Schedule 1 consists of 16 documents emanating from DEFRA and falling into two types: licences for movement and job request forms.
"5. As a matter of substantiation, where the Defendant cannot verify the off-hire charge for plant by reference to a plant identity number, what alternative form of evidence, if any, is required to establish the Claimant's right to recover the plant off-hire charge claimed."
"6. During the seven day notice period required to off-hire each item of plant, at what rate is the Claimant entitled to charge the Defendant?"
"7. Is the Claimant entitled to charge the Defendant for a seven day notice period when items of plant hired to the Defendant pursuant to the CSF contract were moved directly from a farm affected by CSF to a farm affected by the FMD outbreak?"
"8. Is the claimant entitled to claim through this re-re-amended charge in respect of:
(a) items of plant not previously charged in either the original invoices or A invoices for certain weeks;
(b) additional hours for items of plant already invoiced;
(c) additional days for items of plant already invoiced for specific days; and
(d) additional days for items of plant over the Christmas/New Year holiday period?"
"Were the vehicles used to transport plant, labour and materials to site hired by the Defendant for the purposes of the contract?"
"(1) In the event that the Defendant can establish that an item of plant was hired 'to do a specific task for a specific period', does the implied term that the Defendant should give seven days' notice to off-hire items of plant apply to such a hiring?
(2) If so, what constitutes hire to do a specific task for a specific period and what evidence does the Defendant have to provide in order to substantiate in the case of any individual items of plant: (a) that it was so hired and (b) what the predetermined period of hire was agreed by the parties to be?"
"(1) In the event that the Defendant can establish that the Claimant chose to replace an item of plant with the same type of plant the following week, is the Claimant entitled to charge the Defendant a seven day off-hire charge?
(2) If the answer to issue 11(1) is 'yes', what substantiating evidence does the Defendant have to provide in relation to each such item of plant in order to establish the facts necessary thereby to disentitle the Claimant to recover the seven day off-hire charge made for that item of plant?"
"12. When is the due date for payment of the seven day off-hire charges?"
"13. If it be the case that the Claimant had a contractual obligation to provide the Defendant with substantiating evidence that working foremen were in fact working (as the Defendant maintains was accepted by the claimant's solicitor by its letter dated 26th May 2005 -- see paragraph 39(c) of the amended defence and counterclaim) what constitutes substantiating evidence in these circumstances?"
"On what basis should interest under The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 or, if applicable, section 35A of the Supreme Court Act 1981, be calculated? In particular should interest be calculated on an invoice-by-invoice basis or on a cumulative basis? If the latter, should this be calculated on a daily or monthly basis?"
"In the event that the Defendant can establish that it has by mistake paid too much in relation to any one invoice can the Defendant claim interest on the amount of the over-payment? If so, does interest run from the point of mistaken payment and what rate of interest should be applied?"
In relation to the interest claimed by the Claimant in respect of seven day off-hire charges should this be applied to the amount due which is exclusive of VAT since no VAT invoice has been issued?"
D. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
D.2 The Time Taken To Get This Far
D.3 Valuation Meetings
D.4 The Burden of Proof
D.5 Singular Features of Ruttle's Claims
D.6 The Evidence
D.6.1 Ruttle's Factual Evidence
D.6.2 DEFRA's Factual Evidence
D6.3 Expert Evidence
E. STAR RATES: ISSUE 3
E.2 The FMD Contract
"(Q) It is common ground I think that cleaning of premises following contamination by Swine Fever is not considered to be an industry?
(A) I would agree with that, yes.
(Q) Therefore in relation to that there is no industry custom and practice?
(A) Not for cleaning contaminated premises. I believe that is why the order asked us to consider what industry would be appropriate.
(Q) Yes, let us take it in stages. In relation to the cleaning of premises or in contamination by Classical Swine Fever, that is not considered to be an industry, therefore there is no custom and practice.
(A) Yes, I would not disagree with that.
(Q) Similarly in relation to the cleaning of premises following contamination by foot and mouth, again that is not considered to be an industry, do you agree?
(A) Yes, I would…"
Although Mr. Elliott said that there was a practice, by reference to the VIPER document, to which I have previously made reference, it seems to me that, as was demonstrated in his cross-examination, that document just took the reader back to the FCEC schedules. Those obviously do not contain these star rates, which is why they are disputed in the first place. In addition, I consider that Mr. Elliott has based his approach on a comparison with standard forms of ICE and JCT contracts, which are in reality very different to the FCEC and CPA contract conditions with which I am concerned.
E.3 The Rates Applied For/Paid Under the CSF Contract
E.4 The Wider Considerations of Reasonableness
(a) Where the star rate claimed was not clearly invoiced and paid under the CSF contract in 2000/2001, the only evidence to support the reasonableness of the rate was its subsequent use in the FMD contract. If a different rate has been calculated as being reasonable by Mr. Pontin, then I consider that Mr. Pontin's rate should be preferred because, in my judgment, that rate has been calculated in accordance with appropriate principles.
(b) Where the star rate was invoiced and paid in 2000/2001 under the CSF contract, then that will be a factor in demonstrating reasonableness. If Mr. Pontin has reached a conclusion based on a comparable figure then, even if Mr. Pontin's figure was a little lower than the rate claimed, I would conclude that, in the round, the rate originally invoiced and paid was reasonable and that Mr. Pontin's exercise had broadly demonstrated the reasonableness of that rate. If, on the other hand, Mr. Pontin calculated a significantly lower rate than the rate originally invoiced and paid then I would conclude that I should accept Mr. Pontin's rate, again because I consider that it has been calculated in accordance with appropriate principles.
E.5 The Individual Items of Plant
E.5.1 Caged Tank
E5.2 The Air Building
"The question that has been put to me is effectively which star rate I prefer. To see which star rate I prefer I am going to have to look and see if I can find the evidence that backs it up and the methodology that was actually used in the circumstances. That was not provided. Alternatively I will have a look and see if I can pro rata. I could not do that. Alternatively, I look in the market to see if I can find someone else who hires a similar building; and I was not even able to be told what the building looked like. In the absence of all that, I think it is perfectly fair, it is what quantity surveyors do, you will go out and try and find a rate and you will work it back and see whether the rate being proposed is fair and reasonable. That was the task that was set to me."
E.5.3 Hard Standing
E.5.4 Herras Fencing
E5.5 Plasterer's Lights
E.5.6 Lighting Tower
E5.7 Halogen Link Light
F. OFF-HIRE CHARGES
"... went back and went through the invoices and tracked the items of plant and where it came to an end it was not invoiced any more, we added the seven days".
In addition Mr. O'Connor confirmed that, if plant had been taken on and off hire during the period of the outbreak, the seven day off-hire charge would have been levied each time the item of plant was off-hired, even if the period of off-hire had been for a short time, such as a week.
"(Q) So what happened is, because the PIN number was missing from the second invoice we looked at, you have claimed a seven day off-hire at the end of the week beginning 27th August, although the piece of plant carried on working in the succeeding week.
(A) That would appear to be the case, yes.
(Q) And you are not entitled to do that, are you?
(Q) So a credit will be given for that.
(Judge) On whom does the burden lie? Is it for the defendant to go through all of this detail to demonstrate that the claim is incorrect?
(A) No. I think we probably should have checked it a bit more carefully before it was submitted. I have to admit that.
(Judge) Because my understanding is, on your evidence, nobody checked it,
(A) No, no.
(Q) You gave it to Mr. Simpson and said 'over to you' and Mr. Simpson sent it off.
(A) Yes. It was probably remiss of me not to have checked it. I must apologize for that."
F.2 Notices of Off-Hire (Issue 4)
F.3. Plant Identity Numbers (Issue 5)
F.4 Rate Payable During Off-Hire (Issue 6)
""… In the event of the Hirer desiring to terminate the Contract and failing to give such notice, hire for the period of the seven days' notice shall be chargeable at the idle time rates in lieu" (Emphasis added).
Although Mr. Spink QC told me that this clause had been relied on only in respect of the seven days, and not the two-thirds idle time rate, there is no mention of that distinction in the judgment of Jackson J. At all events, the issue before me now is whether Ruttle are entitled to be paid for this seven day period at the full plant rate, which is their case, or at the idle time two-thirds rate, which is DEFRA's case.
"(Q) It is the case, is it not, that during the seven day off-hire period the plant did not remain on the farms, it was taken back to Chorley?
(A) Well, it would have been because the seven day hire came at the end of the invoicing.
(Q) So it went back to Chorley or where it had come from?
(Q) And it was thus available for rehire?
(A) Yes, but not necessarily. It depended on the state of it, whether it needed maintenance or whatever. You know, I cannot categorically say… it was there.
(Q) In some cases some of it probably was rehired?
(A) It could have been. I cannot say whether it was or not."
(a) If notice of off-hire had been given when the plant was being used, the full rate would have been payable, because the plant was not idle during the seven days; but
(b) because Ruttle's whole claim is predicated on the (correct) assumption that no such notice was given at all, and only arises when the plant was in fact idle, the idle time rate is applicable; and
(c) accordingly, Ruttle's off-hire claim should be valued at two-thirds of the full rate for the seven day period.
F.5 Transportation (Issue 9)
Ruttle rely on the fact that the VIPER document did not differentiate between the hiring of plant and the hiring of transportation. That is correct, but I consider it to be irrelevant, given that the contract conditions themselves did draw that obvious distinction.
Ruttle also rely on the fact that DEFRA agreed hire charges for the transportation. Again that seems to me to be right but irrelevant. Of course rates were agreed for the low loader, the cranes, the mini buses and the like, but those were all agreed and paid under clause 31, and not on the basis that these were items to which an off-hire charge could or would be appropriate.
F.6 Plant Hired to Do a Specific Task For a Specific Period (Issue 10)
F.7 Substituted Plant (Issue 11)
G.1.1 The 1998 Act
"4. Period for which statutory interest runs
(1) Statutory interest runs in relation to a qualifying debt in accordance with this section (unless section 5 applies).
(2) Statutory interest starts to run on the day after the relevant day for the debt, at the rate prevailing under section 6 at the end of the relevant day.
(3) Where the supplier and the purchaser agree a date for payment of the debt (that is, the day on which the debt is to be created by the contract), that is the relevant day unless the debt relates to an obligation to make an advance payment.
A date so agreed may be a fixed one or may depend on the happening of an event or the failure of an event to happen.
(4) Where the debt relates to an obligation to make an advance payment, the relevant day is the day on which the debt is treated by section 11 as having been created.
(5) In any other case, the relevant day is the last day of the period of 30 days beginning with —
(a) the day on which the obligation of the supplier to which the debt relates is performed; or
(b) the day on which the purchaser has notice of the amount of the debt or (where that amount is unascertained) the sum which the supplier claims is the amount of the debt,
whichever is the later."
The relevant interest rate is presently 8% over base, and that demonstrates the penal nature of this legislation, which is designed to prevent large organizations withholding money from smaller ones.
"5. Remission of statutory interest
(1) This section applies where, by reason of any conduct of the supplier, the interests of justice require that statutory interest should be remitted in whole or part in respect of a period for which it would otherwise run in relation to a qualifying debt.
(2) If the interests of justice require that the supplier should receive no statutory interest for a period, statutory interest shall not run for that period.
(3) If the interests of justice require that the supplier should receive statutory interest at a reduced rate for a period, statutory interest shall run at such rate as meets the justice of the case for that period.
(4) Remission of statutory interest under this section may be required —
(a) by reason of conduct at any time (whether before or after the time at which the debt is created); and
(b) for the whole period for which statutory interest would otherwise run or for one or more parts of that period.
(5) In this section 'conduct' includes any act or omission."
Compensation for late payment
Conditions should be created whereby the creditor can be suitably compensated for damages incurred through late payment by the debtor. To this end, Member States are requested to:
(a) recognize the right of creditors to interest on arrears as soon as the contractual or statutory period has been exceeded;
(b) set a rate of interest for late payments, otherwise applicable in the absence of specific provisions in the contract, at a level which is sufficiently dissuasive for bad payers;
(c) recognize, in addition to the right to interest on arrears, a right to other compensation for damage incurred by the creditor through late payment. This compensation should cover, in particular, the legal and administrative costs of recovery."
Interest in case of late payment
1. Member States shall ensure that:
(a) interest in accordance with point (d) shall become payable from the day following the date or the end of the period for payment fixed in the contract;
(b) if the date or period for payment is not fixed in the contract, interest shall become payable automatically without the necessity of a reminder:
(i) 30 days following the date of receipt by the debtor of the invoice or an equivalent request for payment; or
(ii) if the date of the receipt of the invoice or the equivalent request for payment is uncertain, 30 days after the date of receipt of the goods or services; or
(iii) if the debtor receives the invoice or the equivalent request for payment earlier than the goods or the services, 30 days after the receipt of the goods or services ...".
G.1.2 The 1981 Act
"35A (1) Subject to rules of court, in proceedings (whenever instituted) before the High Court for the recovery of a debt or damages there may be included in any sum for which judgement is given simple interest, at such rate as the court thinks fit or as rules of court may provide, on all or any part of the debt or damages in respect of which judgement, for all or any part of the period between the date when the cause of action arose and —
(a) in the case of any sum paid before judgement, the date of the payment; and
(b) in the case of the sum for which judgement is given, the date of the judgement ...
(3) Subject to rules of court, where —
(a) there are proceedings (whenever instituted) before the High Court for the recovery of a debt; and
(b) the defendant pays the whole debt to the plaintiff (otherwise than in the pursuance of a judgement in the proceedings),
the defendant shall be liable to pay the plaintiff simple interest at such rate as the court thinks fit or as rules of court may provide on all or any part of the debt for all or any part of the period between the date when the cause of action arose and the date of the payment.
(4) Interest in respect of a debt shall not be awarded under this section for a period during which, for whatever reason, interest on the debt already runs ...
(6) Interest under this section may be calculated at different rates in respect of different periods."
G.1.3 The Disputes
G.2.1 The 35%
(a) No clear or unequivocal admission of the sort alleged by Ruttle can be discerned from the documents that I have seen. The position is at best unclear. I note that in Mr. De Kock's statement there is no suggestion that the admission now alleged has been made. In fact he disputes it.
(b) Assuming that I am wrong, and that when looked at as a whole, the Scott Schedule is evidence of such an admission, I then note that the Scott Schedule was only served a few months ago. In the unusual circumstances of this case, some of which I have already identified, it seems to me that it would be inappropriate to bind DEFRA to any such admission given the other material before me. I consider that to do so would be contrary to the overall justice of the case, and no reason has been identified to justify holding DEFRA to the alleged admission, which at best is only a few months old.
G.2.3 Labour Rate
G.4 Answer to Preliminary Issue 14
(a) the 35%;
(b) the under-claims; and
(c) the labour rate
should start to run. I also make clear that, for the reasons I have given, the appropriate rate is 2% over base. There are no other issues on interest with which I ought to deal at this point.