Install late payment tsar before 2017, ministers told

A small business minister backing the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) is welcome but is still not enough for contractors' group IPSE, which is waiting for the late payment tsar.

“We need to see a Small Business Commissioner installed as a matter of urgency,” said the group, responding to a letter earlier this month by small business minister Margot James.

In the letter, the minister confirms new measures to support the PPC, under which ‘within 30 days’ is the ideal payment time for outfits volunteering to honour it for their contractors and other external suppliers.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) points out that the letter also confirms that a Small Business Commissioner (SBC), often called the 'late payment tsar,' is to be appointed.

But when exactly and to whom the position will be given is not specified in the letter, and it is the former omission which bothers the association the most out of the two.

“We need a strong figure who can lead on better payment culture now,” said IPSE’s Simon McVicker. “Being paid late, or not being paid at all, can have a devastating effect on self-employed people.”

McVicker regards Ms James’ letter as reassuring proof that the issue of late payment is “on the agenda” yet he insists that the SBC, “is not an appointment that can wait until 2017.”

However in reflecting on the minister’s letter, available online, the business department (renamed recently as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), only said that the government would “shortly consult” on the SBC’s operation.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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