[Mr Jim Hood in the Chair] — Late Payments (SMEs)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:43 am on 14th September 2011.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills) 10:43 am, 14th September 2011

I agree with the Minister that the EU regime is essentially very similar to our existing domestic regime. However, the EU regime introduces minimum fixed amounts of compensation for late payment, and I think that it also slightly tightens the time periods for payment.

In the five minutes that the Minister has left to respond to the debate, can he say what more can be done about expanding the compliance with targets of the public sector organisations beyond Whitehall? In Whitehall, the worst offender on late payment is the Department for Communities and Local Government and surely that Department has a role to play in getting local authorities to pay suppliers promptly and on time. As I said in my speech, in some senses local authorities are a bigger problem than central Government in terms of public sector bodies failing to pay on time.