16 February 2010 | Jake Kanter
Suppliers in the Irish Republic are forced to wait about 75 days for payment, according to the Small Firms Association (SFA).
Research carried out among its 8,000 members showed the average time it takes for vendors to get paid has risen from 66 days in the autumn to 75 days this winter.
Some 48 per cent of firms have had payment times increased in the past three months, while 64 per cent said late billing had affected their cash flow.
Furthermore, the research found Ireland’s Health Service Executive was settling invoices in an “appalling” 45 days, breaking a central government commitment to pay suppliers in 15 days.
“Late payment is self-perpetuating. When a firm receives late payment, the companies merely shift the problem to their own suppliers,” said SFA director Patricia Callan.
In other late payment research released yesterday, the Forum of Private Business exposed “astonishing” differences in the amount of time taken by UK health trusts to pay vendors.
Of 200 trusts questioned, some were paying more than 90 per cent of bills in 10 days, while at least 40 trusts settled fewer than 10 per cent of invoices in 10 days.
FPB spokesman Phil McCabe said: “Some trusts are obviously well aware how important getting paid quickly is to their suppliers. As a result, these trusts are commendably processing the majority of their invoices within 10 days and many have voluntarily signed up to prompt payment schemes.
But others seem worryingly oblivious to the government’s guidance on this issue.”