Small firms hope late payment announcement the start of something more fundamental to come

Responding to the Government’s announcement at the Conservative Party Conference of its plans to tackle late payment, Martin McTague, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said:

“Today's announcements mark the next step to tackling late payments, but we hope it's the prelude to more fundamental reform to come.

“The prize to get this right is clear - adding £2.5 billion to the economy, and saving 50,000 small businesses each year that otherwise would not survive.

“At a time when our community has contracted by 10%, and with high inflation aggravating cashflow problems, we believe that bigger changes will be needed around Audit Committees and looking to other countries' approach to mandating 30-day business-to-business payments, and so FSB will be focused on these for the party manifestos for next year's election.

“Every political party should look at their small business offer to attract the votes of 5.5 million engaged and motivated small business owners. Fundamental reform most often happens shortly after an election, when manifesto promises are put into effect, a pattern we have seen play out in the past.

“In the meantime, proposals to improve data gathering and to toughen the Prompt Payment Code are welcome. Proposed increased powers for the Small Business Commissioner will only be a reality if they are within legislation in the King's Speech next month, but in reality all eyes on this now shift to the next election.”

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