The Government has proposed new measures to address the problem of late payments to small businesses.

Several proposals were published as part of a consultation on the issue, as the Government seeks views on how to improve payment culture and prevent unfair practices by larger customers.

These include ways to address the issue at board level, such as ensuring companies give a non-executive director responsibility for their prompt payment performance throughout their supply chain.

Other proposals include using technology, such as the latest accounting software, to help small firms manage their payment processes more efficiently.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of businesses in the UK say late payments are a threat to their survival, and 33% of SME employers see them as a major obstacle to business success.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said the call for evidence will help find a way to "tackle this issue once and for all", and ensure a "level playing field" between smaller and larger businesses.

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