Small business welcomes late payment tsar as Anna Soubry dubs disputes "unacceptable"

Lauren Fedor
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Anna Soubry is the small business minister (Source: Getty)
Business groups have come out in support of the latest government proposals for a new small business tsar tasked with addressing payment disputes.

The department of business, innovation and skills said yesterday that a new, yet to-be-named small business commissioner would tackle unfair practices by leading a “culture change in how small businesses resolve disputes with larger companies.”

Proposals to create the new commissioner role will be included in the government’s enterprise bill, according to the business department.

Following yesterday’s announcement, small business minister Anna Soubry called late payment disputes “simply unacceptable,” saying that small businesses in Britain are owed £26bn in late payments each year.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called the government announcement a “step in the right direction.”

FSB national chairman John Allan added: “It’s important to ensure that the new commissioner has the confidence of the entire business community, a clear focus on tackling supply chain bullying, and sufficient powers to intervene and resolve late-payment disputes in a timely and effective way.”

Meanwhile, Institute of Directors (IoD) policy chief James Sproule called the announcement “very welcome”.

He told City A.M. that late payment is a “particular problem for smaller companies,” and affected around two-thirds of IoD members last year alone.

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