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Small firms cheer commitment to end £2.5 billion late payment crisis

Wednesday November 20th, 2019

Responding to the speech delivered by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn this morning, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:Government Opportunities

“It’s very positive to see the Labour party putting late payments and business rates at the top of its business agenda.   

“Our late payment crisis remains the biggest scourge afflicting the UK’s small business community. It destroys 50,000 firms a year at a cost of at least £2.5 billion to the economy.

“The Labour Party’s commitment to putting this crisis to bed for good is encouraging, and we look forward to seeing exactly how they intend to go about doing so on Thursday.

“We’re clear that the promises made by the Conservative government on this front need to be delivered. That means making corporate boards fully accountable for poor supply chain treatment, properly empowering a new Small Business Commissioner, and banning late payers from all public sector procurement opportunities.    

“Commitments to reducing the business rates burden, upping infrastructure investment and improving access to finance for small firms are also welcome to see.   

“The apprenticeship system is under huge pressure and starts in small businesses have tumbled since the introduction of the apprenticeship Levy. The delivery of more than 300,000 climate apprentices certainly has the potential to provide our economy with some renewed vigour, but we need to know that the method of delivery will work for small firms.  

“It was good to see the Labour leader stress the need to transfer levy funds down supply chains more effectively. That has to be the focus here.”

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