Small firms in Ireland will be paid more promptly by the government under a new 'credit card' style scheme, it has been announced.
The 'Framework for the Supply of Purchasing Cards' for the Irish public sector will work in the same way as a credit card with the aim of reducing processing costs for invoices with an average value of €350.
It is hoped that the scheme, announced by Ireland's procurement minister Brian Hayes, will help cashflow for small businesses as the purchasing cards will mean small suppliers are paid in less than four days, it was claimed.
Hayes said that the scheme will eliminate the need to process around half a million low-value invoices as they will be consolidated into a single monthly electronic statement.
"The Purchasing Card Framework Agreement ticks many of the boxes as far as government policy is concerned," he added. "For example, the SME sector will be assisted through the improvement of their cashflow and it will also help address many efficiency and cost reduction objectives of the Public Sector Reform Agenda."
The purchasing cards are available to the whole of the non-commercial public sector in Ireland.
Earlier this month, the UK business minister Michael Fallon threatened to name and shame large firms
that fail to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code.