The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Payment clampdown hailed


ness across the region. James Hammerton, managing director of Pentland Constructi­on, at Thurso, said: “As a constructi­on business, cash flow is of the utmost importance to our day-today survival and we do our best to ensure that customers pay up

on time.

“Highland Council pays very promptly, as do many of our private customers, but from time to time we comeacross businesses­who do not and this can cause us grave difficulti­es. Anything the UK Government can do reduce late payment gets our support.”

Ross Dundas, of Aberdeen- based Rosco IT Solutions, said: “I had to wait 60 days for payment from one large, internatio­nal firm. As a relatively new business, it could have been catastroph­ic and even now, I think twice before taking on a large scale contract, if the payment terms are unfavourab­le.”

Mark Chinery, of Peterhead firm Zincweb Internet, aid: “It’s difficult enough in the current climate to run a business, without adding the burden of carrying out work and having to wait months for payment.

“It’s a catch-22 situation; if you complain about extended payment terms, you run the risk of losing business, but without a healthy cash flow, your business can’t survive.

“I’d definitely welcome legislatio­n that stops the scourge of late payments and ensures small businesses are treated fairly.” Ret a i l e r Mar k s & Spencer’s shares climbed 6.2p to 459.5p as traders cheered a marketingc­ampaigndes­igned to bolster its ailing clothing arm on an otherwise downbeat day for the London market.

The FTSE 100 index shed 34.3 points at 6465.7 as it continued its slide.

Investors remain anxious over looming fears quantitati­ve easing in America will begin to be tapered off from next month.

In Europe, Germany’s Dax was down 0.3% and France’s Cac 40 slid by nearly 1%, despite better prospects on the Continent, with the eurozone having come out of recession last week.

Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial-planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted STV Group rising 6.4% to 171p, Faroe Petroleum adding 4.5% to 133.75p and Petrofac up 1.4% at £12.62. Amongthefa­llers Johnston Press finished down 4.3% to 17.75p, BG Group slid 1.6% to £11.64 and the Royal Bank of Scotland edged 0.9% lower to 339.9p.

 ??  ?? UNFAIR: Andy Willox . . . smaller and newer businesses are hit hardest
Vince Cable: looking at fines
UNFAIR: Andy Willox . . . smaller and newer businesses are hit hardest Vince Cable: looking at fines

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