June 10 2015
Sajid Javid, the new minister for business announced that the government intends to bring in a new Small Business Conciliation Service based with the aim of resolving payment disputes between small and large companies more quickly and cost-effectively.
The measure was revealed as part of the Enterprise Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.
In a recent speech in Bristol, Javid claimed that late payment is an issue that has exercised him for some time:
“There’s a situation familiar to small business owners up and down the country. A letter turns up from a larger customer changing payment terms, charging them to remain a supplier, and in some cases even deducting that charge on the spot against payment owed.”
“This pattern of behaviour is an outrage. It’s bullying – pure and simple.”
“In 2008, late payment alone cost British business £19 billion. This year, that’s set to exceed £40 billion. The average amount owed to a small business is more than £30,000.”
Details of the conciliation service will be developed, but it is thought that it will be modelled on a system that is already working in Australia.
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