Councillors fit the bill to pay invoices on time

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COUNCILLORS in Edinburgh are among the top performing in Scotland when it comes to paying bills promptly, according to new statistics.

The figures, which were obtained by the Scottish Conservatives, show 63 per cent of invoices owed by the city council were paid within a ten-day target timescale between 2011 and 2012 – well above the Scottish average.

Nationally, only 38 per cent of invoices were settled on time by local authorities.

Scottish Conservative local government spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said: “The Scottish Government target for the payment of invoices by the public sector is ten working days – that is supposedly a key element of the Scottish Government’s economic recovery plan.

“Local government is a substantial customer for Scottish businesses, both large and small, and the longer payments take, the more difficult it is for these businesses to manage their cash flow and pay their own suppliers.

“In 2011-12, the Scottish average was only 38 per cent. This is totally unacceptable, especially at a time when local authority finances are tight.

“If some councils are able to pay 80 or 90 per cent of their invoices within ten working days, then there are no excuses for others.

“Scottish businesses require and deserve better, with small organisations in particular adversely affected by the lack of prompt payments.”