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The Government have a commitment to pay 90% of valid and undisputed invoices from small and medium-sized enterprises within five days. Departments also have a non-executive director responsible for prompt payment, and suppliers now risk being excluded from winning large Government contracts if they cannot demonstrate prompt payment in their supply chain.
I thank the Paymaster General for that answer. Following on from her responses to my hon. Friends’ questions earlier regarding small and medium-sized businesses, the cash flow of those businesses is the most important factor in their survival, so what assurances can my right hon. Friend give that the timely payment commitment will always extend further down the chain so that small and medium-sized businesses in my Delyn constituency are able to plan ahead with confidence?
I can give my hon. Friend those assurances: we do take those things into account. As far as the Cabinet Office is concerned—of course, it is similar for many other Departments across Government —we are meeting the five-day payment target, and in 99% of cases all invoices are paid within 30 days.