A NEW study shows a huge variation across Greater Manchester in the time it takes councils to pay supplier invoices.

Trafford ranked sixth regionally and 69th nationally with 75.4 per cent of suppliers paid within the Government imposed target of ten days.

On average only 52.3 percent of invoices in the 2011/12 year were paid by Greater Manchestr authorities within that time frame, equating to most suppliers being paid 17.51 days after - slower than the national average.

Forum policy advisor Robert Downes said: “Despite all the pressure from Central Government for public bodies to pay invoices in less than 10 days, not one council in the Greater Manchester area is achieving that figure, and frankly that is disappointing.

He added: “Late payment is a curse for many small firms.”

The study was conducted Forum of Private Business with the research being carried out using Freedom of Information requests.