The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has repeated its call on the government to extend the powers of the Small Business Commissioner today.

It comes in response to Commissioner Paul Uppal’s evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (B.E.I.S) Select Committee yesterday, in which he spoke about the potential of introducing fines for late payers.

Managing Director of the Forum, Ian Cass, said: “I truly believe that Paul Uppal is the right man to do this job, but he needs greater investigative powers in a format small business will trust and respond to, in order to be able to find out where the problems are in terms of sectors or individual businesses, and in those instances where his directions and advice are ignored be given the ability to apply penalties. This is something we highlighted when the role was first announced.”

In his evidence, the Commissioner spoke about a reluctance among small businesses to complain about late payments.

Ian Cass added: “While a business like Carillion is allowed to be a signatory to the prompt payment code, despite consistently ignoring it, it shows that a serious amount of intervention is needed. We hope the government takes heed of the Commissioner's words and swiftly increases his powers."

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