Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show that Waltham Forest Council have failed to meet their own targets for paying local businesses within 10 days for 7 out of the last 8 months. And they have only once met their targets for paying small businesses on time since last April 2011.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses the Government estimates that in 2008, 4,000 businesses failed as a direct result of late payment and it costs UK businesses £180 million in debt interest charges. The problem of late payment is not just a commercial one, but it is also ethically wrong. When large businesses or the public sector pay late, it can put small firms out of business.
Liberal Democrat Leader and Finance Spokesperson, Councillor Bob Sullivan said:
“This is a tough time for small businesses and these targets were set to try and help cash flow for local businesses in Waltham Forest.
“For some small businesses, being paid promptly can mean the difference between growing or standing still; between creating jobs or cutting them; between keeping the doors open or closing them for good.”
“It is unacceptable that the council is failing local businesses in this way. Officers and Cabinet members should use the new year to turn over a new leaf and pay local businesses on time in 2012.”