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UK Tories Planning UK SME Conciliation Service

by Robert Lee,, London

11 December 2014

The UK Conservative Party will commit in its 2015 election manifesto to setting up a Small Business Conciliation Service, the Culture Secretary has confirmed.

Speaking on "Small Business Saturday," December 6, Sajid Javid said that the manifesto "will put the welfare of small businesses at its center." He explained that the Conciliation Service "will help small firms settle their problems with larger corporations."

According to Javid, this system has worked well in Australia, and the model ought to be imported to the UK. Javid said that he is "confident that this will help thousands of businesses get the billions of pounds they're owed."

IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, welcomed the proposals. Simon McVicker, Director of Policy and External Affairs, said: "Late payment is a crippling issue for the UK's smallest businesses. The current catch-22 situation means that microbusinesses are often unable to chase clients for payment that isn't forthcoming for fear of damaging important business relationships."

"When it comes to payment, big businesses have long had their smaller providers over a barrel. Introducing a small business conciliation service to resolve disputes will go a long way in helping freelancers get the payment they deserve without lengthy court action."

An IPSE survey of 1,000 "traditionally" employed and self-employed people living in the UK's 40 most marginal constituencies revealed that 79 percent agree that late-payment rules should be strengthened. 78 percent of respondents support the development of a regime that enables small businesses and the self-employed to settle disputes without resorting to court action.

TAGS: court | compliance | tax | small business | business | Australia | United Kingdom | small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) | contractors | professionals | self-employment | micro business | trade association | trade | Professionals

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