Councils lead way over bill payments

Date published: 10 October 2014

COUNCILS across Greater Manchester are outperforming big business when it comes to paying their bills on time.

The Federation of Small Businesses says Oldham Council takes an average of 17 days, behind Manchester (20), Tameside (19) and Salford (18). Seven per cent of Oldham Council’s bills were settled after 30 days — the third highest behind Manchester (15.6 per cent) and Rochdale (9 per cent).

The FSB carried out the research after 55 per cent of its members said late or slow payment was their chief concern.

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, battles late payment with her Be Fair – Pay on Time campaign. She said: “It’s good news that our councils are leading by example but clearly there is still more to be done in terms of overall payment time and ensuring that prompt payment flows down the supply chain.

Richard Gregg, FSB’s regional chairman, said: “A poll of members revealed late payment is still a major headache for many member businesses.

“What it shows clearly is that big organisations dealing with thousands of invoices every month can pay them promptly — often an excuse of slow-paying big businesses.

“The local authorities across the region, bar none, are quite evidently showing the big private sector players how it can and should be done.”

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