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February 13, 2020

Today in the Senate, Labor will call for the Government to stop talking and crackdown on extended small business payment times.
Almost a year and a half ago, the Prime Minister promised to create a register of the payment times of Australia’s 3,000 largest companies. They also promised they would require big business to have a 20-day payment time to small business in order to get government contracts.
Nearly 18 months later, nothing is up and running. 

According to internal documents as reported by the Weekend Australian,  “implementation is likely to take place in late 2021”. How on earth does it take three years to implement this fairly straightforward and uncontroversial policy?  

The notice of motion in the Senate today will ask the government to

  • Release details of its register of the payment times of Australia’s 3,000 largest companies;
  • Make a commitment that big businesses that extend payment times beyond 30 days and offer ‘reverse factoring’ arrangements cannot use such arrangements to hide their true payment times on the register; and
  • Clampdown on conditions that allow big businesses to treat small businesses like piggy banks.

Extended payment times are an ongoing issue for small businesses around Australia.
The Government must be held to account over its incompetence and outright dismissal of small business needs.
At no stage has Senator Cash ever condemned the abuse that often happens when ‘reverse factoring’ is involved - a dodgy scheme where small businesses pay a fee to be paid on time, or have their payments blown out. 
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. 

Minister Cash needs to listen to small businesses and Labor, and decide – will small businesses be paid on time or not?