The Government has also made the decision to name all FTSE 250 companies who do not sign up to the Code.
Phillip King, Chief Executive of the Institute of Credit Management says that the Government could go further, making it compulsory for any firm tendering from public sector contracts to be a signatory of the Code.
He commented: “It is wholly right for the Business Minister to put his weight behind the Code, but this message would be even more convincing if he was to make signing the Code - and clearly demonstrating best practice in fair payment - a pre-requisite for any Government work. Public money should not be going to those firms whose payment practices stifle economic growth.”
Mr Metcalfe added: “This is not just a commercial problem. It is an ethical one. SMEs are the backbone of our economy and we must make it clear to big businesses and to public sector bodies that it is simply not acceptable to pay suppliers outside of the agreed terms. I welcome the Government’s commitment to tackle the issue but as I said in the debate, we must have a system in which the reality matches the rhetoric and I will work hard to promote this message.”