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Chancellor's plans to tackle late payments welcomed

The Spring Statement included some comments about the government's determination to tackle late payments and increase support for SMEs

Late payments can be the bane of the channel's life with resellers and their customers both victims of having to wait for their accounts to be settled.

Moves by the Chancellor to try and get on top of the problem, outlined in the Spring Statement, have been given backing by some in the industry keen to make life better for SMEs.

Philip Hammond used his speech to share his determination to, "eliminate the continuing scourge of late payments" and do more to protect small businesses.

“Late payments are a very real challenge for UK SMEs and the commitment in today’s Spring Statement to tackle this issue will be welcome news. SMEs form the backbone of our economy, but our research found on average UK small businesses are owed £63,000 in late payments at any one time. This can stifle growth and have significant impact on cashflow, placing the future of businesses at risk. Late payments have caused fifteen percent of SME owners to dip into their own personal savings to cover the shortfall – which is not a sustainable solution," said Ed Thorne, UK managing director at Dun & Bradstreet.

The comments by the Chancellor got the thumbs up from the Federation for Small Businesses, which has been campaigning for years to get the late payment problem sorted.

“The Chancellor has sent a clear message to UK boardrooms today by committing to ending the late payment crisis that destroys 50,000 businesses a year. We look forward to working with the Chancellor and his team to eliminate the scourge of late payments. Ending the late payment crisis could add £2.5 billion to our economy annually and help close the productivity gap," said FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry.

“Eight in ten small firms suffer from late payments. The collapse of Carillion highlighted the dangers of the UK’s pernicious poor payment culture. We need to create an environment where another Carillion can’t happen," he added.

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