Business news 29 November 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Labour vows to tackle late payments. Pandemic loan scheme only saved 5% of firms from closure. The billions lost in revenue. HMRC debt mountain, inflation, tax, insolvencies & more business news that we thought would interest our members.

Labour vows to tackle late payments

If elected, Labour will introduce legislation to ensure invoices are paid on time.

The party’s plan also includes measures to protect small businesses by scrapping business rates, boosting exports, and providing patient capital for technology-intensive businesses.

Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said that small businesses are the beating heart of the economy and that Labour will work with them to create a prosperous environment. He added that Labour’s plan is a “serious blueprint to create the long-term environment businesses across the country are crying out for.”

Pandemic loan scheme only saved 5% of firms from closure

Analysis by the British Business Bank shows that the Government’s £47bn Bounce Back Loan Scheme rescued about 1 in 20 participating businesses.

The pandemic support scheme, which offered taxpayer-guaranteed facilities of up to £50,000 to business owners to help the firms survive lockdown measures, prevented the failure of between 5% and 6.5% of borrowers between April 2020 and March 2021.

Banks providing the loans have received payments of £8.5bn from the Government, while suspected fraud has been flagged on loans totalling £1.7bn.

The billions lost in revenue

Research by Sagacity shows UK Businesses are losing billions a year in lost revenue each year. They estimate 5.87% of revenues are lost, equal to £244 billion every year.

45% of the losses come from errors with data, control and oversight, including £37 billion down to human error such as mistakes in data entry.

Incomplete or inaccurate data impacts businesses ability to bill their customers correctly.

Blame is well spread, with Sales, marketing and events, Accounts, IT and customer service departments all contributing.

The first step towards regaining control is to pinpoint processes that cause leakage the most often – for instance, tasks involving manual elements, hand offs, large numbers of customers or time pressures.

By getting a handle on processes and driving data quality, businesses can start to stem the tide of revenue leakage.

HMRC debt mountain

HMRC is owed a mountain of £45.9 billion in uncollected tax debt and tax credit debt. It has risen almost 10% or  £4.3 billion in the last year.


In comments to Bloomberg TV yesterday, Deputy Bank of England Governor Sir Dave Ramsden said that UK inflation is ‘becoming much more home grown’ with ‘much sticker’ price rises in the UK service sector and 7% wage rises which account for 45% of the CPI calculation are keeping inflationary pressures high.  Service sector inflation is currently at 6.6% and Sir Dave believes that inflation will remain stubbornly high due to wage growth above 7% in the service sector

Ramsden also pushed back against market expectations of a rate cut in Q1 2024 saying ‘I have pushed back of late against assumptions that we will be cutting interest rates in anything like the foreseeable future beause it is too soon to have that discussion.’

Retailers warn over higher prices

Shop price inflation eased to 4.3% in November, but retailers have warned the Government about the potential for higher prices due to taxes and red tape. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) expressed concerns about government-imposed measures, including tax increases and post-Brexit import checks, which could fuel inflation.

The BRC also questioned the sustainability of an almost 10% increase in the national living wage. The Treasury insists that it is helping businesses by cutting taxes on investment and extending business rates relief.

City minister tells UK regulators to allow more risk-taking

City Minister Bim Afolami says regulators need to be more comfortable with corporate risk-taking, saying that if supervised, it is “integral to the growth and innovation of any part of the economy.”

Government spending plans do not go beyond March 2025

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned that spending plans outlined in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement represent “a very big fiscal risk.” Chairman Richard Hughes told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that the OBR could not know whether the plans were “plausible or not” because Mr Hunt had “not provided any detail in the choices involved in delivering those numbers.” Highlighting that 40% of government expenditure falls under departmental spending plans, which come up for review in March 2025, Mr Hughes said: “It is very difficult to assess the credibility of the Government’s spending plans because, after March 2025, the Government does not have any spending plans.” He added that it is an “unusual feature of our system” that the Government “does not tell us anything about their spending plans beyond the end of a review period.”

Tax policy is hurting growth

An Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) official has warned that the Chancellor’s tax plans are hurting the economy because they do not make work pay. David Miles, an executive member of the Government’s spending watchdog, said high effective tax rates facing many workers are “bad for growth.” While the OBR said the National Insurance cut announced in the Autumn Statement provided an “unambiguously positive” incentive to work, workers will still be paying more tax in five years as tax thresholds do not increase in line with inflation. Mr Miles told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee: “I think what is bad for growth is high tax rates at the margin,” adding that “being able to control marginal tax rates and try and bring them down is definitely good for growth.” Pointing to the tax burden, Mr Miles said: “There are clearly disincentives to work from aspects of the tax system and disincentives to save and disincentives for companies to invest.”

Port Talbot

The GMB union have presented a plan to bring decarbonisation at the steel plant while protecting jobs for Tata Steel.


Virgin Atlantic has flown the first transatlantic flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) an oily material that is comprised of used cooking oil and agricultural waste. Sir Richard Branson said ‘the world will always assume something cannot be done until you do it”.


Spain’s Ferrovial is selling a 25% holding in the airport. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will buy a 10% stake  and 15% will go to Ardian, a Paris-based private equity firm.

Berkshire Hathaway

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s right hand man for the last 60 years passed away at the age of 99. Together they turned Berkshire Hathaway from a failing textile maker into $783 billion global conglomorate. £1 invested with them would now be worth £3.8 million, averaging an annual gain of 20% between 1965 and 2022 which is about double the return of the S&P 500 index.


The social media company previously valued at $15 billion is reportedly negotiating an IPO for early next year.


Oil Prices higher on Wednesday as investors turned cautious ahead of a crucial OPEC+ meeting to decide output policy in the coming months, while a supply disruption caused by a storm in the Black Sea provided a lift for prices.

FCA targets greenwashing with new rules

As part of a drive to rid the City of greenwashing, the Financial Conduct Authority plans to force firms to prove their ESG claims, arguing that the new measures will improve the “trust and transparency of sustainable investment products.” The FCA will introduce an “anti-greenwashing rule” to ensure sustainability claims are “fair, clear and not misleading” in May 2024. Guidelines around product labels will be tightened and firms will be barred from describing products as having a positive impact on sustainability if they do not. Investment managers will be able to use a new traffic light system of labels for their funds: sustainability focus, sustainability improvers, sustainability impact, and sustainability mixed goals as of July 31 next year.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – HUNTER HOMES (KENT) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HILLSIDE GARAGE (LITTLE POLGOOTH) LTD
Appointment of Administrator – ROSE COTTAGE FARM LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – HAYWOODS HOLDING LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – GREEN WAY FOODS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – METHLEIGH FARM LTD
Appointment of Administrator – MAGNUS GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CRE8 HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – ABBOTSFIELD METALS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SEBJEN INVESTMENTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HAYWOODS MANAGEMENT LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – MATTHEW BODY PLANT HIRE LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – LYPHE GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – C T ANDREWS & CO LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – EXPRESS VAN LOGISTICS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CRE8 INFRASTRUCTURE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – REZIGO LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – QB TECHNOLOGY HOLDING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HI-TEC ROOF SYSTEMS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AFGC LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – OURKOM LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – TESCO AQUA (GP) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CORBELO GROUP LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DECLAN MORONEY CONSTRUCTION LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – EVE FRATELLI LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – CAPREOLUS FINE FOODS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – IIVII INVESTMENTS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CADDIE EXPRESS (MAIDENHEAD) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – JEM TRADING SCOTLAND LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PROCTOR & ASSOCIATES (HOLDINGS) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PROCTOR & ASSOCIATES LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – ADVENTURING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DOERS AND DREAMERS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PRQ ELECTRICAL&PROPERTY SERVICES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – CONNECT MG LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SECELEC LTD

Why should you become a CPA member!

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid, since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for some time to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. And we provide credit information so you can monitor and assess your key customers.

Unlike other credit management companies, we offer our members a fixed annual subscription regardless of how high the debt value maybe!

Just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Do you have a commercial late payer that is causing you grief? Use CPA’s no-win, no-fee, commercial debt recovery service!

If you have a particular business customer who is late paying and causing you sleepless nights, why not offer it to CPA for purchase on recourse?

CPA’s collection department will then pursue the debt. We will be liable for any costs incurred and then when we have recovered the debt, we will pay you the net principle debt recovered less our percentage.

Once you have enjoyed that success then you can consider the more cost effective membership which includes our Overdue Account Recovery service and Status/Credit reports as well as a range of other complimentary services.

Just call  020 8846 0000 and ask for Godfrey Nelson or Cris Shirley (business hours) or email today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.


Get compensated for previous late payments

Have you been paid late by business customers in the last six years?

Maybe you no longer work with them. Under legislation, you are entitled to  compensation you for those late payments you have suffered.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

Claim late payment compensation (LPC) from former business customers who paid you late in the last six years!

CPA (LPC) Recoveries is using our bespoke software and decades of experience to do just that for our clients

Check our compensation calculator to see how much your business could be owed!

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.