Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Late Payments - could the wait be over?

As a Direct Debit Bureau we collect millions of pounds on behalf of well over a 1000 companies. We talk to lots and lots of business owners that have had increasing problems in getting their money in a timely fashion. We advocate using Direct Debit to help with this issue, and although we are a bit biased, we have seen companies transform their Cash Flow using Direct Debit.

You may have noticed that we have had a General Election recently. It was billed as the most important choice in a generation. As we wrote last week, it delivered a shock result, which of course, was a Conservative majority. We are not Politically aligned at all, and while some people have been saying it will be bad news having a Tory Government, from a purely business perspective, the early signs appear to be good.

The new Business team are Sajid Javid, Business Secretary, and Anna Soubry, Small Business Minister. They have set out their stall and made some good announcements. The first is about cutting red tape. Now, we have heard that before from Government after Government. The Coalition struggled to agree on things that needed cutting, so we are hopeful that this new team will deliver on this.

Sajid Javid said "As Business Secretary I will always back them and, in my determination to get the job done, one of my first steps will be to bring forward an Enterprise Bill that helps them to succeed and create jobs.

"As part of our long-term economic plan, we will sweep away burdensome red tape, get heavy handed regulators off firms' backs and create a Small Business Conciliation Service to help resolve disputes."

We desperately need them to look at the red tape and regulation that SMEs are struggling along under, but it is the last part of that sentence that caught our eye. We have advocated a mechanism, other than the court service, to settle disputes on late payments. It feels as though we may be getting somewhere. There is absolutely no doubt that will make a huge difference to thousands of SMEs across the country, so we really hope they crack on a deliver it.

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