HC Deb 26 April 1990 vol 171 c477
21. Mr. John Townend

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on his plans to help traders with bad debts.

Mr. Ryder

I think that my hon. Friend has already asked his question; nevertheless, I shall answer it again. During the comprehensive review of the arrangements for relief from VAT on bad debts, the views of professional and business bodies were sought, and many representations received.

Mr. Townend

I am sure that you, Mr. Speaker, will be pleased to hear that I do not propose to ask the same question again. Does my hon. Friend agree that as dangerous to small businesses as had debts are debts which are paid slowly and that some of the worst culprits are local and public authorities? What efforts can he make to encourage public authorities, including the Government, to pay their debts to small businesses a little more quickly?

Mr. Ryder

I fully agree with my hon. Friend and efforts are being made to ensure that those things are put right as soon as possible.

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