Furthermore, all our European neighbours recognise the freedom of suppliers and customers to agree terms without government interference. While this is right and proper, it does severely limit the scope for legislation.
Nevertheless, I recognise that late payment is a serious problem. What we must do is create a business culture in which late payment is just not done. While government will play its part through, for example, the measures announced in the Budget, much of the answer must lie with business putting its own house in order.
The issue, as you rightly say, is cash flow. Legislation, however much the procedures are speeded up, will not solve this. I would suggest government policy is not eccentric, but realistic.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for
Consumer Affairs and Small Firms
Department of Trade and Industry