MP goes to war on late payers

Date published: 06 July 2012

Leaders back Debbie’s pay-up drive
THREE major business leaders have backed Oldham MP Debbie Abrahams’ campaign to get large firms to pay their bills on time.

The Oldham East and Saddleworth MP is taking on big businesses with her “Be Fair — Pay on Time” campaign designed to help smaller companies stay afloat.

The Labour MP’s plan is supported by Philip King, chief executive of the Institute of Credit Management; John Walker, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses and Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business.

Currently, only 25 of the UK’s top 100 FTSE companies are signed up to the voluntary Prompt Payment Code and Mrs Abrahams, is challenging the rest to follow.

A letter signed by the three business chiefs will be sent to the remaining 75 companies inviting them to show their commitment to pay their accounts on time.

The campaign is being supported by shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna who visited Oldham yesterday. He said: “In the current economic climate, it is particularly crucial that our small and medium-sized businesses receive payments promptly.

“Too many small companies are waiting too long for payments

“Small and Medium Enterprises are owed billions of pounds in late payments.”

Mrs Abrahams launched her challenge at a local business event last night at the White Hart in Lydgate.

She said: “In the current climate I cannot imagine why a multi-million pound company with a healthy balance sheet would not be prepared to lead by example and sign up to the code.”

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