independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Scheme to speed up payments to SMEs launched

Brian Hayes: payments plan boost

THE government has launched a new scheme to speed up payments to small businesses.



The scheme will allow government procurement officers to pay suppliers for fees of less than €350 within four days using a "Purchasing Card".



The card is effectively a credit card for paying SMEs quickly, and is backed by Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland.



According to the Office of Public Works the scheme will release as much as €200m in state funds to SMEs.



Procurement minister Brian Hayes said the plan would be a "major boost" for the SME sector.



"The Purchasing Card Framework Agreement ticks many of the boxes as far as Government policy is concerned.



The SME sector will be assisted through the improvement of their cash flow and it will also help address many efficiency and cost reduction objectives of the Public Sector Reform Agenda," he added.



The scheme will run for two years with an option to extend it for another two years.

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