The Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association has denounced the Government for their "disgraceful total disregard for small business in their fight to be paid on time by big business and the State itself".
The latest ISME Credit Watch Survey results for Winter 2009 has highlighted the fact that many SMEs face bankruptcy "because of the inordinate payment delays, exacerbated by a continuing lack of bank credit".
ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding said: "Despite increased efforts by small businesses to collect cash, more than half of small businesses (59%) are still left waiting longer for payment, with the average payment period being 75 days; among the highest in Europe.
"Almost half (48%) of companies now have to wait over three months to be paid. The situation is continuously deteriorating as the delays have increased from 50 days at the introduction of Late Payments legislation to 60 days in Autumn of 2007 to the current excessive 75 days.
"The main culprits are the large businesses who abuse their dominant position and take longer credit, thereby starting the domino effect down the supply chain."