SP in European Parliament: big firms should settle bills within thirty days

28 April 2010

SP in European Parliament: big firms should settle bills within thirty days

The European Parliament Internal Market Committee today adopted a report which would establish a maximum period for settling accounts. According to the report, bills should be paid in principle, by both state institutions and private companies, within thirty days. Unfortunately, the proposed rules allow too many exceptions. SP European Parliamentary group leader Dennis de Jong nevertheless describes the proposal as "a clear improvement on the current situation: the central rule is that now everyone must pay up within thirty days. That was desperately needed because small and medium-sized businesses suffer badly from late payment from state bodies and big companies."

Dennis de Jong What the SP is not happy about is the number of exceptions which the report would allow. State authorities and corporations will be able to exceed the stated period by a further sixty days, while it will also be possible for companies to get away with long delays in payment provided no 'undue damage' entails. "This makes it easy for big corporations to put small firms under pressure," says De Jong. "That could be prevented by allowing no excuses, as the SP proposed. The Liberals supported this originally but in the end opted for the interests of big business and not those of small and medium-sized enterprises. That's frankly disappointing."

The SP has received numerous complaints from small firms in the Netherlands that continue to hope for firm agreements that will protect them from the market power of major corporations. The party's European Parliament group will therefore go on fighting for better regulation of payments.

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