John Kenneth Galbraith is remembered for declaring that the only form of socialism that would be acceptable in America was socialism for the rich.
Now Britain's Labour Party, looking for ways to drum up support before sweeping aside the Conservatives in the next elections, is promising state intervention to protect small business against the abuses and excesses of big business.
[Labour Party] shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna raised the prospect of
automatic sanctions for big companies that fail to pay their suppliers
Umunna said the UK's late-payment culture was
"outrageous" and warned that a future Labour government would consider
banning firms from public contracts under a tough new sanctions regime.
shadow business secretary outlined action against late payment in a
series of measures announced to the annual conference of the Federation
of Small Businesses.
"Too many small businesses are effectively bankrolling bigger
businesses that refuse to pay them on time. This is outrageous," Umunna
"In government we legislated so that late payments can incur
interest, and we established the prompt payment code. But I know how
hard it can be to challenge your own customers.
"So, the next
Labour government will expose those who pay late and we will seek to put
in place a regime that will automatically trigger action against late
payers, perhaps by preventing them winning public contracts and through
reporting requirements on payment performance in their company