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Small Businesses: Billing

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL14844, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of research by Pennyfreedom, published 14 March; and what steps they are taking to ensure that small businesses receive prompt payments of invoices.

Answered on

26 April 2021

Late payments damage the cashflow of small businesses, which can hold back investment or job creation and, in the worst cases, lead to job losses and business closures.

Action to stop the damaging practice of late payments remains a key priority for Government.

On 16 March, we announced the appointment of Liz Barclay as Small Business Commissioner, who will continue the excellent work of interim Commissioner Philip King in helping small businesses secure the payments owed to them and to galvanise UK businesses behind a new culture of prompt payment.

In October last year, we consulted on new powers for the Commissioner, including the power to order payments, levy fines and open investigations based on third-party information. The responses to the consultation and further proposals will be published in due course.

In January this year, we also announced reforms to the Prompt Payment Code to help build a culture of prompt payment between companies and challenge UK businesses to change their practices and stand by small partners at a critical time for the UK’s economic recovery.