New controls on party political donations seem toothless…

FROM tomorrow, donations to political parties in Northern Ireland will be ‘controlled’ for the first time. But the ‘controls’ are so slack and invisible to the public, that you wonder why the Electoral Commission bothered. Small wonder the parties back the new regime, as it looks like they got their own way. Much of the ‘control’ seems to count on good faith from the parties, and they still do not have to disclose the identity of donors (nor will the Commission reveal who makes impermissible donations). Neither are loans regulated, with parties merely asked ‘to sign a letter of undertaking agreeing not to take out loans from impermissible sources’. Fines for non-compliance are small and maximum sentences of a year are hardly a deterrent. Well that oughta keep ’em in line(!)

  • “you wonder why the Electoral Commission bothered”

    You do indeed.

  • noel adams

    Still no need to declair loans thats only up for discusion after 2100 so much for open government?.

  • dewi

    Surprised only now this is happening. In Plaid we have a great system of money raising – we depend on people leaving us money in wills – so looking up the electoral commission stuff every quarter is like scoring the death columns of the Western Mail – macabre but true!

  • dewi

    Scouring even

  • veritas

    what a load of bollox from the electoral commission-talk about a toothless tiger.It may be contraversial but should there not be some kind of state funding of those participeting in the political process-amd then make receiving any other money illegal-at least it is better than the shambles involving cash for honours etc and political parties being accountable to the public rather than to property developers and the like.

  • veritas

    How much does the electoral commission cost?-if thes is the best they can come up with-scrap them and put the money into health or housing or new public transport.

  • Odd.An Irish citizen can make a donation from anywhere in the world but a British citizen can’t.Why not limit the donations to those who are registered voters in the south?