Late Payments - Statement

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

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

My Lords, I agree with those who have said that this is a long-term problem; I was involved in it many years ago and have been since. I welcome the tougher approach signalled by these proposals, particularly the strengthening of the commissioner’s powers. But I am not quite clear—perhaps my noble friend could assist—as to the stronger attitude to compliance that will be taken. Is it just a stronger attitude to compel the disclosure of information and that side of it? That is fine, but is it the commissioner or the department that will potentially issue penalties for poor practice among large firms? Those are the ones that will really bite hard, but of course it means you have to define, in ways that will stand up in court, whether it is a poor payment practice.