MP DEBBIE Abrahams has secured a 10-minute rule bill to tackle the scourge of late payments impacting on many small businesses.

The bill put forward by the Oldham East and Saddleworth MP says that all payments on government and public authority contracts should be made through a “project bank account” system.

This ensures small businesses are paid directly and promptly, while also protecting them against losses, such as seen with the Carillion collapse in early 2018.

The bill, which is titled: Public Sector Supply Chains (Project Bank Accounts) Bill will be heard on January 15 and aims to set in law the requirement that all parties delivering government and public authority work – from the lead contractor right down the supply chain – will receive payment from the same secure “pot” of money.

In Parliament, Ms Abrahams challenged the Chancellor Phillip Hammond to support her bill to help end late payments and protect small business suppliers from collapses like Carillion.

Mr Hammond replied saying it was “an interesting idea and that the Cabinet Office commercial secretariat is looking at her proposals”.

Since then Ms Abrahams has been in contact with both the Cabinet Office and business ministers in order to secure the Government’s support for her bill.

The MP, who created the award winning Be Fair - Pay on Time campaign in 2012 after a constituent in Saddleworth told her his company was being destroyed by a major supermarket chain’s late payments, said: “Late payment by large businesses is a massive issue across all business sectors leading to billions of pounds being owed to smaller companies for work that has been done.