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17th November 2017
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It's not often that I agree with anything the European Union does and I consider membership to be an enormous waste of money that could be spent so much more wisely, yet very occasionally it comes up with something rather useful...
Monday saw an agreement between European Parliament and Council negotiators on new rules to ensure that small firms no longer face financial problems due to the late payment of bills by public authorities or companies. MEPs also secured important concessions on the general payment and verification periods, the capping of payment periods by public authorities and the interest rate payable if payments are made late.
This new legislation updates the existing EU Late Payments Directive. The standard deadline for both public and private sectors to pay a bill for goods or services will now be 30 days. The Commission's initial proposal in practice left the deadline open for debtor and creditor to agree, but Parliament's negotiators succeeded in persuading Member State representatives to accept an EU-wide 30-day rule.
Four key points were settled in the negotiations:
17th September 2010