Ben Jackson, CEO of early payment provider, Oxygen Finance, said:

“Today was a missed opportunity for the Chancellor to deliver on his Spring Statement pledge to stamp out late payment. All we’ve had since then is further consultation on the issue, but no decisive action.

“While further legislation isn’t the answer to this deep-rooted problem, there is a case for strengthening existing measures. In practice, this would mean immediate financial consequences for businesses who pay late. The existing rules see late payers merely reporting on the extent to which they pay late, with the onus on suppliers – who will be reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them – to trigger any financial penalty.

“Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business and without the certainty of regular, timely payments businesses cannot put their growth plans into action, which, at best, leaves them operating in a short-term fashion and at worst puts their very survival in jeopardy. While the Budget did include business-friendly measures, they mean very little when firms still aren’t being paid on time for the goods and services they provide.”