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New plans to cut red tape and late payments for SMEs

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Members of the UK200Group of independent accountancy and law firms have today commented on news that the new Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a new bill.

During a speech to business leaders in Bristol, Mr Javid announced proposals to introduce a new Enterprise Bill that would aim to cut £10m of red tape and help SMEs to grow.

As part of the proposed bill, a small business conciliation service will be introduced, which will assist companies in resolving disputes over payments with larger firms – an issue that has plagued a number of small companies for some time.

The business minister said that small businesses where “Britain’s engine room” and he promised that the new legislation would help them to “succeed and create jobs”.

Duncan Montgomery, Tax Partner at UK200Group member firm Whittingham Riddell LLP:

This sounds good, but the only concrete proposal so far is a conciliation service for small businesses trying to extract payment. This is much better than the lead by example approach from Government departments, but the conciliation service will need to be a fast process if it is realistically to speed up payments. If a case takes months to hear, the service is redundant.

Ending the Construction Industry Scheme completely would be a step forward for many, as would a savage reduction in agriculture's overkill on subsidy paperwork.

David Whiscombe, director of tax at UK200Group member firm BKL:

The proof of the pudding etc… But, regardless of the fine detail of what is proposed and how effective it turns out to be in practice, what is much more important is the underlying message. 

It seems that at last Government recognises the immense contribution which independent businesses can make to the economic and social development of the UK, if only they are set free to do so; that must be unequivocally welcomed.


Established in 1986, UK200Group is the leading mutual professional association in the UK with some 150 offices of quality-assured member accountancy and lawyer firms throughout the UK totalling over 550 partners, 150,000 business clients and global links in over 50 countries. UK200Group provide services and products that are designed to enhance the business performance of its members.  Telephone 01252 401050, email or visit 


UK200Group is an association of separate and independently owned and managed accountancy firms and lawyer firms. UK200Group does not provide client services and it does not accept responsibility or liability for the acts or omissions of its members.  Likewise, the members of UK200Group are separate and independent legal entities, and as such each has no responsibility or liability for the acts or omissions of other members.


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