HC Deb 28 February 1995 vol 255 cc485-6W
Mr. David Shaw

To ask the President of the Board of Trade how he intends to require public companies to state their payment policies in their directors' reports as announced in the White Paper on Competitiveness (Cm. 2563).

Mr. Jonathan Evans

The Government wish to bring about a change in business culture to encourage shorter payment times. We announced in the Competitiveness White Paper a package of measures to achieve this.

As part of this, my Department proposes that directors of public companies should state in their annual reports what their policies are towards paying their suppliers. This will provide suppliers with information about how they can expect to be treated by their major customers. At the same time, we intend to ensure that the compliance costs for public companies are not onerous.

Under the proposals, companies which follow the CBI prompt payment code or an equivalent—such as a British standard for prompt payment currently under House on 17 November 1994, contributions to the review were welcome from those with an interest in Chessington and its work. All contributions that were elicited are covered by an undertaking of confidentiality.