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GOVERNMENT’S PAYMENT TIMES FARCE

February 02, 2020

The Morrison Government continues to drop the ball on payment times for small businesses. 
 
It has been 18 months since Scott Morrison and Michaelia Cash with great fanfare announced they would require big business to have a 20-day payment time to small business in order to get government contracts, and yet nothing is up and running. 
 
Documents referred to in reports today suggest the government completely forgot about their “landmark” payment time policy, only to chase their tail when their lack of action was publicly scrutinised. 
 
The Government must be held to account over this incompetence and outright dismissal of small business needs.
 
How seriously does Senator Cash take small businesses if she cannot give them any assurance that their 18-month old 20-day payment times  announcement will even be up and running before the next election?
 
It is telling that at no stage has Senator Cash ever condemned or committed to action on reverse factoring - a dodgy scheme where small businesses pay a fee to be paid on time, or have their payments blown out. 
 
This incompetence comes as stories mount about the prevalence of reverse factoring - revealing more small businesses having to pay a fee to be paid on time. 
 
This supply chain financing practice is unconscionable, but merely the tip of the ice-berg as these dodgy payment plans are risky and contribute to the economic woes we face. 
 
Delaying payment times at the very least, slows the economy. As noted by the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, delayed payment times are a $7 billion drag on the economy.  At worst, it could result in the collapse of large companies.
 
Just like their delayed response to the bushfire disaster, and the sports rorts scam, the Morrison Government has failed to respond to serious payment issues faced by small businesses.
 
Minister Cash needs to listen to small businesses and Labor, and decide – will small businesses be paid on time or not?
 
Small businesses require prompt payments to help manage cash flow and to grow, particularly when access to finance is tight. The economy does not benefit from this type of financialisation that only benefits needless intermediaries.

WE'LL PUT PEOPLE FIRST