Opposition calls for fines on late debts
Friday 03 June 1994
Labour and the Liberal Democrats have pledged to introduce a statutory right to charge interest on overdue payments as the only certain way to stop debtors effectively taking advantage of free credit.
In last week's competitiveness White Paper, the Government postponed consideration of legal penalties for at least two years, to the anger of the small-business lobby.
Spelling out the Liberal Democrat commitment at the annual conference of British Chambers of Commerce in Birmingham, Paddy Ashdown, the party leader, said: 'You cannot trust them (the Tories) to deliver their promises on tax - and you cannot trust them to deliver the best deal for business.'
Yesterday's industrial strategy document from Labour says: 'Late payment is likely to remain a problem so long as it offers financial advantage without financial cost . . . In practice, we would not expect such a right to be often invoked in court proceedings. The objective . . . would be to supply an incentive to ensure bills are paid promptly in the first place.'
A Liberal Democrat paper on helping small businesses put the cost of late payment at about pounds 15bn; payment of just one-tenth on time would outstrip the total sum invested by the venture capital industry. Ministers argue that voluntary measures such as the proposed British Standard of prompt payment must be given a chance to work.
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...