Caroline Dinenage, local Member of Parliament for Gosport, has raised the issue of late payments in a debate on manufacturing in the House of Commons. Caroline is particularly concerned by reports that larger firms are extending the time they take to pay their invoices and the negative effect this has on the cash flow of many local companies, potentially driving some out of business all together.
In the debate, she said: ‘…the average payment terms in the manufacturing sector have now reached an astonishing 88 days. This is driving many good companies out of business. I know that the European Late Payments Directive has recently entered into law but this does not yet appear to be addressing the problem faced by many businesses in my constituency’.
Mark Prisk, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise responded on behalf of the Government, stating, ‘Manufacturing is at the Heart of Government policy. We need a broader and diversified economy and manufacturing is a vital part of achieving this goal. Despite the popular idea amongst the press that we no longer make anything, the UK remains one of the leading global manufacturers.’
Taking the time to speak after the debate, Caroline outlined her views on the trading conditions for industry, as well as the importance of exports: ‘As the owner of a manufacturing business and an MP for a constituency with a strong industrial economy, I am passionate about companies being paid quickly and fairly for the work they do. Ensuring SME’s are given the support they need to access the global market is equally important and, following my appointment to UKTI’s Marine Sector Advisory Group, I will be pressing this point very strongly with officials.’