Help on debtors
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• Hauliers who face ruin because customers refuse to pay up on time would be able to claim interest from their debtors under proposals being put forward by a small business pressure group.
The Forum of Private Business has drafted a Parliamentary bill which aims to "ease the damage overdue payment inflicts on the UK's smaller firms."
The forum claims to have the support of 83% of backbench MPs; now it hopes that the Government will adopt its proposal as legislation.
Compulsory interest on overdue bills is law in a number of EC countries, including France, Germany and Holland: this could be why British firms are among the worst in Europe for non-payment of debts. Business analyst Dun & Bradstreet says British firms which fail to pay their bills on time are an average of 51 days late, compared with 34 days in Italy, for example.