UKIP's Small Business Spokesman Margot Parker has called for action after it is revealed SMEs wait twice as long for invoices to be paid compared with larger companies. The East Midlands MEP, who has ran small businesses herself, said the Government must act after a study by the Asset Based Finance Association showed SMEs waited an average 67 days to be paid last year, compared with 38 for big firms. And according to the report, the gap is growing.
She said: "There an estimated 5.2m small businesses in the UK, together employing more than 12m people and with a combined turnover of £1.2t - these small businesses are the life-blood of Britain. They are a major contributor to turnover, employing 48 per cent of the workforce and create 85 per cent of all new jobs. We fail to recognise just how crucial they are at our peril - they are the backbone of our economy and the principal driver of our labour market. But successive Governments have simply not done enough to protect and help them.
"This latest report doesn't surprise me - it is what I hear all the time from businessmen. The Government has to realise it's people such as these and the businesses they start and grow that will take us out of the economic turmoil we've suffered in recent years and back into the black
"They are simply not supported - they struggle to get finance to set up or expand their businesses. Bigger companies don't pay invoices on time, treating the "little man" as a money-lender, ruining their cashflow and potentially putting them out of business.
"Outside of the EU they can thrive with less red tape and less burdens and we, in UKIP, will also ensure more will be done regarding payments so a level playing field is created and business can thrive."