A representative body for small businesses in Scotland has welcomed the UK Government’s plans to appoint a commissioner to spearhead the crusade against late payments.
Small business are owed more than £26billion in late payments from their larger customers, the government estimates, but many suppliers lack the financial clout to take the matter before a judge.
The new commissioner will have the power to adjudicate on disputes over delayed payments from large businesses, removing the need to go to court and saving small companies millions in legal fees.
The commissioner will also be able to provide advice for small businesses, investigate complaints, and “name and share” firms that do not play fair.
The position will be created in the autumn under the Enterprise Bill.
The Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland yesterday said late payments have been a huge issue for suppliers in Scotland and welcomed the move to appoint a commissioner.
FSB Scotland spokesman Stuart Mackinnon, said: “It’s great to see the UK Government take action. We pressed all parties to tackle this problem in the run up to the election so it’s great to see movement.
“Traditionally, small companies have been unlikely to take large customers to court as the disparity between them is so great in terms of resources.
“We hope this will deliver for small businesses.”
Unveiling the plans, Small Business Minister Anna Soubry, said: “Small businesses are owed £26 billion in late payments and spend millions more chasing down money they have already earned through hard work.
“This is simply unacceptable – it limits their growth and productivity, and can put an otherwise successful business at risk.”