Government urged to act quickly on late payments

The Government is not acting quickly enough to prevent poor payment practices that harm small businesses, a House of Commons committee has said.

A report published in December 2018 by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee recommended new measures to tackle larger companies that pay their suppliers late.

This included a statutory requirement for companies to pay within 30 days, enforcement of a prompt payment code, and increased powers for the small business commissioner.

In response, the Government agreed that "we need to tackle the scourge of late payments", and said it would consider responses to a consultation on the topic.

The BEIS criticised the Government's response for not including any new practical measures on payment practices to SMEs, and said existing initiatives have been ineffective.

Rachel Reeves, chair of the BEIS committee said:

"Each day that the Government delays action leaves small business facing another day of being out of pocket.

"Small businesses need the Government to do better and deliver the concrete measures necessary to win the fight against poor payment practices."

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