Small Business Commissioner a 'matter of urgency'

10th October 2016

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) believes that backing for the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) is not enough for the small business community, with a Small Business Commissioner viewed as integral to a better payment culture by the contractors’ group.

Small business minister, Margot James recently backed the PPC, which will insert a 30-day payment window as standard for all suppliers to be paid by.

However, the IPSE claims this backing is still not enough and is seeking for action rather than words with regards to the new so-called ‘late payment tsar’.

“We need to see a Small Business Commissioner installed as a matter of urgency,” the group said in response to a latter from Ms James.

Within the letter, James confirms new measures to support the PPC, including the 30-day payment window to honour invoices to contractors and external suppliers. But the IPSE claims the lack of certainty over when a Small Business Commissioner will be appointed to oversee such a regime is the most frustrating aspect of Ms James’ letter.

Simon McVicker, director of policy and external affairs, IPSE, said: “We need a strong figure who can lead on better payment culture now.

“Being paid late, or not being paid at all, can have a devastating effect on self-employed people.”

Mr McVicker believes Ms James’ letter is reassuring that the issue of late payments is still firmly “on the agenda” but insists that a Small Business Commissioner “is not an appointment that can wait until 2017”.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently said, upon reflection of Ms James’ letter, that the Government would “shortly consult” on the operation of a Small Business Commissioner.

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