Government to attempt to tackle late payment in new Enterprise Bill
Posted: Mon 18th May 2015
The Queen's Speech will include a Bill aimed at reducing small business red tape and introducing a service to resolve late payment disputes between large and small companies.
Describing the Enterprise Bill as "ambitious" and "radical" the government said it will seek to deal with the Â£32bn owed in late payments to small firms by acting on a general election manifesto promise and creating the new Small Business Conciliation Service to help settle disputes.
In the latest attempt to sweep away bureaucracy the government will also look beyond Whitehall and extend measures to independent regulators. They will be expected to contribute to a target of at least Â£10bn in cuts.
In addition, the Bill proposes the extension and simplification of Primary Authority, a scheme that allows a business to get advice on regulation from a single local council. That advice must then be respected by all other councils which the government says should reduce the time and cost of having to obey different rules.
The measures will be set out on Tuesday by Sajid Javid in his first speech as business secretary at the Engine Shed in Bristol, the city where he grew up above his parent's shop.
Enterprise Nation will be attending the speech and live tweeting updates from 10am via our Twitter account.
Ahead of the speech Javid said: "Small businesses are Britain's engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them.
"As business secretary I will always back them and, in my determination to get the job done, one of my first steps will be to bring forward an Enterprise Bill that helps them to succeed and create jobs."
John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, welcomed the Bill but said tackling late payment requires more. "The government does have a role to play in helping to alleviate both the cause and effect," he commented. "But in order to change the culture of late payment we need to see a concerted effort from businesses themselves.
"Businesses have been let down by successive governments promising to make inroads, so we will be watching carefully to make sure these proposals are delivered."