Labour declares war on late payment to small businesses in Swindon

Nearly half of small businesses in Swindon experienced late payment from bigger companies last year, costing them tens of thousands of pounds and forcing many out of business.

In Swindon there are 17,025 registered small businesses and 8002 small business are owed money in late payments worth just under £82m.

On Thursday 23rd March Jeremy Corbyn addressed the Federation of Small Business Conference where he said that a future Labour Government would address this scandal by requiring any company bidding for a public sector contract to pay its own suppliers within 30 days and would look at introducing for the private sector a system of binding arbitration with fines for persistent late payers.

The Leader of the Swindon Labour Group has stated his support for this policy, and has urged Swindon’s two MPs to acknowledge this exploitation of small businesses rather than making political attacks against Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking to FSB conference delegates, Jeremy Corbyn said:

“Cash is king for any business, and big companies are managing their cash by borrowing – interest free – from their suppliers.

“Some of the biggest names in business are holding cash piles that don’t actually belong to them. It’s a national scandal, it is stopping businesses from growing and causing thousands to go bust every year. It kills jobs and holds back economic growth.”

The Leader of the Labour Group in Swindon, Councillor Jim Grant, said:

“Small business is the lifeblood of our high streets and our local service sector. Swindon has a thriving small business sector, with over 17,000 small businesses, any threat to their cash flow, risks the stability of our local economy.

Supporting those striving to make a living through self-employment is vital for our town, but also the health of our national finances. We know this country is tilted towards big business over small businesses, and that is why I am fully behind Jeremy and his team in seeking to address the exploitation of small businesses and give them the support they need.

Labour will take action on late payees by imposing a maximum 30days payment term on the public sector, and introducing fines for persistent late payers in the private sector.

In addition, a Labour government will scrap quarterly reporting for small business. It’s a burden and a distraction that will hold entrepreneurs, and our communities, back.

If all residents hear from our Conservative MPs is attacks against Jeremy Corbyn we will know that they have no intention of addressing the scandal of small business exploitation.”