CALLS FOR ACTION ON SMALL BUSINESS LATE PAYMENTS

8th January 2019

TORY MPs AND PARLIAMENT BACK COMPULSORY PAYMENT RULES AND PENALTY REGIME FOR PERSISTENT LATE PAYERS

SNP Westminster Small Business spokesperson, Marion Fellows, today called on the UK Government to introduce legislation to ensure full and timely payments from larger businesses to small businesses after a survey carried out by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) revealed the majority of MPs support further measures.

AAT’s survey found that 73% of MPs – including 63% of Tory MPs – agreed with their recommended changes to the voluntary Prompt Payments Code. Recommendations would make the Code compulsory to businesses with over 250 employees; half payment terms from 60 to 30 days; and implement a penalty regime.

Speaking today at Business Questions, Mrs Fellows demanded action: “With the support of Parliament and his own MPs, will the Secretary of State support small businesses properly by implementing these recommendations?”

Research from the Federation of Small Business found that if payments were made on time, 50,000 more businesses could be kept open each year and the UK economy would receive a £2.5 billion boost.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“While dealing with Brexit, implementing legislation would provide a greater level of certainty and stability to small businesses and provide much needed protection to the economy and communities. The UK Government needs to act.

“With Parliament and a majority of the Business Secretary’s own MPs in support, there is no excuse for the UK Government’s inaction.

“Instead of asking nicely, the UK Government needs to force certain larger businesses to meet their responsibilities and penalise those who do not. If the UK Government does not act, they will show themselves to be on the side of big business and against the small businesses which are the backbone of our economy.

“Establishing a Small Business Commissioner is welcome, but we need to provide them with the means to end late payments rather than Tory wishful thinking.”