Late Payments - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:05 pm on 19th June 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour 6:05 pm, 19th June 2019

My Lords, this is an old problem and your Lordships have been debating it for years. As I read it, the Government’s latest paper is a clear improvement, but while I welcome the fact that five businesses have been removed from the code and 12 are being suspended, that is a very small number as compared with the problems that other businesses have faced. I assume, although perhaps the Minister can confirm this, that the five removed businesses and 12 suspended ones are very large concerns. If they are not, someone has lost track of the large ones which I think are causing many of the problems.

The code needs to be enforced, as mentioned by other noble Lords. Have the Government considered the rather more nuclear option, which may be necessary, of ensuring that companies which are removed from the code are also removed from the tender list for major government contracts for a certain period of time? That would make them sit up and think, because they would lose business. I know that that would need to be worked out and monitored carefully, but it would affect their bottom line. Being named as having been removed from the code may well simply be shrugged off. I will be interested to hear the Minister’s response.