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Companies: Billing

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will commission an investigation into the policy of some major companies of extending their standard payment terms and its possible impact upon small business. (196326)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: The Department published research, commissioned from the Credit Management Research Centre, on payment trends in the UK earlier this month. The research suggested uncertainty about the timing of payments from trade debtors is more damaging for small firms than situations where the payment delay is long but certain. The Enterprise Strategy published on 12 March announced that the Department will, over the next six months, explore non-legislative approaches to tackling late payment issues.