Skip to main content

Companies (Winding-Up Procedure)

Volume 980: debated on Monday 3 March 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will investigate means of simplifying the winding-up procedure and the conversion of companies into unincorporated bodies in order to assist smaller companies.

The Insolvency Review Committee has been asked to consider possible less formal procedures as alternatives to company winding-up proceedings in appropriate circumstances. I await its report with interest.

Will my hon. Friend consult the Chancellor to see whether there is a means of reducing the tax disadvantages of taking such action?

Yes, of course. Consultations of that kind go on constantly. I note that my hon. Friend is concerned about the position of small businesses, and in that connection I draw his attention to the Green Paper on company accounting and disclosures, published last year. There are a number of helpful proposals in that, and we are now studying the comments on those proposals with the aim of preparing legislation for next Session.

As the Minister has said previously that he hopes to receive the Cork report by the end of this year, can he predict when he hopes to introduce legislation to reform the insolvency law? Is it likely to be in this Parliament?

Our intention is that it will be within the lifetime of this Parliament. The hon. Member is right in saying that the Cork report is expected towards the end of this year, and we are anxious to bring forward legislation as soon as possible thereafter.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the winding-up procedure of companies and bankruptcy petitions are multiplied these days because of the failure of the normal debt-collecting process? Will he take that into account in any consideration to reform winding-up and bankruptcy proceedings?

Certainly I shall take account of the points that my hon. and learned Friend makes. I know that he is aware that responsibility for the debt-collecting procedures which are followed through the courts is that of the Lord Chancellor.