Estonia and Finland are the only two European countries where public administrations settle their bills with the private sector within the 30-day limit foreseen by the revised Late Payment Directive which should enter into force in the whole EU on 16 March, reports EUROCHAMBRES. In all other countries, public-to-private payments exceed 30 days, with Italy, Greece and Spain being the worst performers (180, 174 and 160 average payment days respectively).
Every late payment has direct consequences for businesses, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs): investment cuts, job losses and even business closures.
“The solvency of thousands of reputable businesses is at stake and with it the fate of many thousands more jobs,” said Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of EUROCHAMBRES.
EUROCHAMBRES writes that they fully supports the ‘zero tolerance’ stance of the European Commission towards member states who fail to transpose the revised terms of the directive, and has thus today launched the 30max campaign, urging public authorities to pay their invoices on time.
“The prompt payment of invoices is a direct, efficient and swift way in which policy makers can improve cash flow in the real economy and contribute to the growth and jobs agenda. We expect the European Council meeting tomorrow to curb the late payment culture that prevails in many member states,” said Mr Abruzzini.
As of March 2013, the public bodies in only 2 countries in the whole of the European Union are averaging payment in under 30 days!
About the Late Payment Directive
Public contracts make up over one-sixth of the European economy, yet the public sector is the slowest payer in the EU. The revised Late Payment Directive gives the right to businesses to be paid by public authorities within 30 days. Member States had 760 days (until 16 March 2013) to transpose this directive into national law, yet well over half of the member states are set to miss the deadline.
The detailed list of late payers is available on www.30max.eu/map-of-debtors