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Fair payments 'to benefit construction SMEs'

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the UK building sector are set to benefit from a new ruling regarding fair payment timelines, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has argued.According to Brian Berry, chief executive of the organisation, steps taken by the government to address concerns arising with a lack of timely payment on public contracts will have major benefits for many smaller firms operating in the UK construction sector.Westminster officials are now committed to ensuring all payments are carried out within a 30-day timeframe from completion of the contract, with this move aimed at delivering increased levels of stability within the industry, as well as promoting a smoother flow of funds throughout the country's supply chain.He stated: "Most small construction firms would be financially ruined if they had to wait as long as 120 days for payment."As a result, Mr Berry noted it is extremely encouraging that ministers appear to have listened to the concerns of the industry and have now taken steps to ensure businesses with tighter cashflows are not unduly hampered in tendering for public contracts, as they can be assured they will receive payment for their services in a timely manner."The FMB is also working closely with government on a new Fair Payment Charter, which will contain even more measures to help speed up the flow of finance and ensure all parts of the supply chain can benefit from the public sector as a responsible client," he concluded.This new approach to financial management will deliver greater confidence to SMEs throughout the sector and promises to help companies tender for deals that will benefit the whole of the country in the years to come.Overall, the FMB is now looking forward to a prolonged period of steady recovery for the UK construction industry throughout 2014 and beyond, with this latest announcement a positive step on this journey to a brighter economic future. 

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