HC Deb 26 January 1988 vol 126 cc158-9W
Mr. Goodlad

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what advice his Department gives to small firms which are owed money by overseas suppliers or contractors and which are unable to secure payment; what representations he has received on this subject from LAMDEC of Frodham, Warrington, Cheshire,; what response he has made; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Cope

The booklet "Payment on Time" issued by my Department in conjunction with the CBI and other organisations gives general advice on payment problems. Where small firms cannot resolve payment disputes with customers they should seek legal advice, whether the customer is in the United Kingdom or overseas.

A letter from LAMDEC outlining its payment problems was received on 19 January, in addition to representations recently made by my hon. Friend. The specific points raised in these representations are involved in a current High Court action and I cannot comment on them. I will reply to the representations to comment on the general issue of late payment in industry shortly.