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Government to help small firms tackle late payments

The new business secretary Sajid Javid will today announce the creation of a Small Business Conciliation Service to help settle disputes between small and large businesses, particularly relating to late payment practices.

According to the government, SMEs are owed £32bn in late payments but many are reluctant to launch legal challenges or are not aware of their rights.

Javid will also unveil new measures to support entrepreneurs and job creation in a speech to be made in Bristol later today.

As part of its long-term economic plan, the Conservative government has pledged to cut red tape for business by at least £10bn over the next five years in a new Enterprise Bill.

Javid will say that the bill will help create 2 million more jobs over the five-year period and will make the UK the best place in Europe to start and grow a business.

He is expected to say: “Small businesses are Britain’s engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them. 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.”

The EU Commission is also expected to announce proposals to cut red tape in Europe later today, following recommendations for reform from a UK business-led taskforce. Measures include a commitment to proposing lighter regulations for small businesses in new EU legislation, greater independence for the Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board, and improved consultation and impact assessments.

@TaraHounslea

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