A Parliamentary Question on BHS

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 18.15.44Yesterday, I asked the Minister of State for Business, Skills and Innovation a question in the House following the unfortunate news that British Home Stores is likely to go into administration:

Steve Baker: The market economy on which our civilisation rests is dangerously undermined when the privatisation of vast profits is swiftly followed by the projection of similarly vast losses on to other people, whether they be taxpayers or pensioners. Since corporations are creatures of the state, will my right hon. Friend look at the incentives, particularly relating to excess debt? Will she look at how the institutions around corporations can be changed so that we do not end up in a position where this can happen again?

Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise (Anna Soubry MP): Usually, when something goes wrong, there are lessons to be learned. I have already commented on our combined concerns about many of the issues surrounding what happened to BHS. I really do not want us to have this very negative view of BHS, however. The stores are still open; people are still in work; now we want to secure a buyer so that there is a future for all those shops and the workforce. My thoughts today are with the workforce, as well as the small business creditors.

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