It has been revealed that the Weatherill Labor Government has paid over 110,000 of its bills late which totalled over $603 million in the 2016-17 financial year.
The State Government is required to pay outstanding invoices within 30 days otherwise businesses can apply for a late payment fee under the Late Payment of Government Debts (Interest) Act 2013.
However it was revealed that in 2015-16 only $39 of late fees were paid by the State Government to two businesses with outstanding bills.
“The Weatherill Government is again hurting small business in South Australia this time by failing to pay over $600 million worth of bills on time,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“This tired and arrogant Weatherill Labor Government has a hypocritical double standard.
“This Labor Government is happy to slug South Australians with late fees if they’re one day late paying their ESL bills, speeding fines or any other government bill but they won’t do the same.
“That’s why we have committed to ensuring that South Australian businesses will receive automatic late payment fees for State Government bills paid 30 days late for contracts up to $1 million if we are elected in March 2018.
“The State Liberals know how important small business is to our economy and creating local jobs and that’s why we will support them by ensuring they are paid on time and if not, they automatically receive late payment fees.
“Almost all small businesses rely on a steady cash flow to keep their head above water and the Weatherill Government effectively withheld over $600 million from these businesses by failing to pay their bills on time.
“This Weatherill Government has hit businesses with a $360 million increase to the ESL and delivered the highest priced and least reliable electricity in the nation.”
“It’s another layer of unnecessary red tape and a slap in the face for small business making them apply for a late fee which they are entitled to.”