Paul Uppal, the ex-small enterprise commissioner, has blamed Whitehall for pushing him out of a task which, he says, is under-resourced and ignored by authorities.
Uppal, who was appointed late fee watchdog in 2016, has advised The Occasions that his workplace was met with “radio silence” from civil servants and ministers over his method to the job and that his price range was too small to deal with the “large activity” of getting large corporations to pay small companies on time.
>See additionally: Small Enterprise Commissioner Q&A: Paul Uppal talks about late funds
The previous late fee tzar left in October after a disagreement over an alleged battle of curiosity associated to an unpaid, interim advisory function in one other government-backed small enterprise scheme.
Uppal expressed his “shock” and “harm” at how the Division of Enterprise, Vitality and Industrial Technique dealt with the difficulty.
Chancellor Sajid Javid mentioned final week successor to Uppal can be discovered shortly and that the function can be given extra tooth.
>See additionally: Find out how to deal with late funds to your small enterprise
Uppal says that his successor would want extra monetary and strategic help from authorities. His final face-to-face assembly with a Whitehall official was again in February, he mentioned. A big quantity of his workplace’s £1.3m price range was merely spent on salaries and the quantity was not sufficient “if it will do the job”.
The watchdog wants regional workplaces – for instance, in Wates and in Scotland – Uppal added, along with its headquarters in Birmingham. Managing the function from one workplace with solely 10 workers was a “actual stretch”, he mentioned.
The Federation of Small Companies estimates that 50,000 small companies go underneath annually due to “pernicious” late fee, which prices the financial system a minimum of £2.5bn a yr.
Labour small enterprise minister Invoice Esterson mentioned that small corporations have been being failed as a result of the commissioner doesn’t have the sources “wanted to do the job”.
A BEIS spokesman advised The Occasions that Uppal’s function “ended in step with departmental tips following a breach of the phrases of his appointment”.
Additional studying on late funds
SMEs say late funds are a higher subject than they have been a yr in the past