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Tories' debt sickener; One worker blamed.

A Treasury minister blamed her department's shocking bad debt record on one member of staff going sick.

Angela Knight came up with the amazing excuse in a letter to Labour frontbencher Barbara Roche.

She wrote: "A member of staff fell ill late in 1994-95 and, although others took on his duties, the promptness of payment suffered."

Roche said: "Most firms in this country employ less than 10 people. They will be amazed that the Treasury's payment of bills falls apart when one civil servant falls ill."

Yesterday it was revealed that the Treasury - headed by Chancellor Ken Clarke - is the worst Whitehall department for paying bills on time. A quarter of its debts are settled late.

The news came as Premier John Major promised to improve the Government's record by publishing a league table of worst payers.

He warned private companies that they may be forced to reveal their own records.

The Institute of Management said: "His suggestion that you can simply embarrass late payers of business debts will result in red faces for the Government."
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Dodd, Sheree
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 12, 1996
Words:176
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