Westminster pays for SF’s party promotion only…

I’m not sure if anyone else has this one yet, but Eddie McGrady has laid down an early day motion at Westminster:

That this House calls for a review of current funding arrangements under which Sinn Fein can use parliamentary funds calculated on the same terms as Short money for expenditure on press, publicity and other representative functions including constituency party promotion which is in fact party constituency work, a facility which is not allowed to other parties represented in the House.

That would be that singular phenomenon known as Hoon Money… So far it only has one other signature, the Tory MP Peter Bottomley….

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  • Chris Donnelly

    So the SDLP are seeking to team up with (undoubtedly) elements within the DUP/UUP/Tories and probably Labour to ensure the party supported by the vast majority of nationalists on an abstentionist platform for Westminster is effectively robbed of finance to support its constituents.

    Sounds like a real winner from the SDLP.

    Little wonder the party is sliding into obscurity….

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    I’m confused. How does McGrady know the money isn’t being spent on activities compliant with ‘Short money’ regulations?

    He doesn’t seem to have presented any evidence.

  • Mick Fealty

    He doesn’t. His argument is that Hoon Money allows expenditure not allowed by Short Money.

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    Still confused:

    Sinn Fein will have to furnish the House accounting officer with a certificate from an independent auditor to the effect that the expenses claimed are within the terms of the resolution—[Laughter.] I am sorry that hon. Members take that view because the same control system applies to Short money and the same maximum amount is payable as under that scheme.

    Under the motion, financial assistance would be made available for activities related to those that would normally attract Short money. Short money, as the House will be aware, is payable for research associated with Front-Bench duties, developing and communicating alternative policies and shadowing the Government. Financial assistance would be available for related activities conducted by Sinn Fein, such as the employment of a researcher to assist the representative business of a spokesman, and the costs of relevant equipment and travel costs for spokesmen engaged in representative business

    what was the resolution? Seems pretty cleat the money was intended to be spent on the same areas as Short money. Does McGrady have evidence it wasn’t? Or is this just the SDLP trying to remove cash from SF?

    From what I can see it looks like McGrady is using one of his very rare trips to Westminster to stiff SF.

  • William

    Martina Anderson speaking on Radio Foyle yesterday [Wednesday] morning told the listeners she and all other Shin Fein / IRA MLAs including former Chief of Staff of the IRA, Martin McGuinness were only paid £359 each per week…whereas their actual salary was £3,500 and after deductions they should receive £2,600. The total salaries of the Shinners, she said were paid to Sinn Fein who then paid their MLAs….a departure from regulations to suit the Shinners, the other departure being, that they are allowed to hire their own drivers [like the one questioned over the Quinn murder] and have them paid out of public funds. This was something Robbo, when Minister of Finance, said would not be allowed to happen. But it has !!!

    To conclude, Anderson said that the balance of the MLAs pay retained by the party was used, ‘…to further the aims of the party publicity machine throught the 32 counties’ So there you have it…..British money is being used for Sinn Fein propaganda purposes in a foreign country !!!

  • Comrade Stalin

    William,

    Martina Anderson speaking on Radio Foyle yesterday [Wednesday] morning told the listeners she and all other Shin Fein / IRA MLAs including former Chief of Staff of the IRA, Martin McGuinness were only paid £359 each per week…whereas their actual salary was £3,500 and after deductions they should receive £2,600.

    Your facts are all messed up again. Now you’re conflating weekly wages with monthly wages. Deliberately ?

    I don’t believe SF are being truthful; they like to present themselves as being paid by the party but this cannot be the case (tax/pension/NIC deductions?). No, they’re paid the same as every other MLA, and then they donate a fixed proportion of this back into party coffers.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Do they get tax relief on their party donations?

  • Rory Carr

    Tax relief is not available on party political donations. Nor indeed is it available on charitable donations. However where charitable donations are made under either covenant or Gift Aid by a donor who pays higher rate tax the donor may reclaim the difference between the standard rate of tax(which the charity can claim from the Revenue) and the higher rate. However since charities are expressly forbidden to engage in political activity this really is moot.

    Business tends to contribute to political parties in the hope of influencing that party, should it come to power, to steer profitable business its way or to introduce legislation that will be favourable to its operation, such as the easing restrictions on tax-avoidance schemes so beloved of late by New Labour, and thus increase its profits.

    But then we all knew all this already. Didn’t we?

  • The Raven

    Rory. Work with local government (even at the edges as I do) for as long as I have, and you’ll see evidence of it at every single planning meeting.

  • William

    Comrade Stalin….I messed nothing up…I related it exactly as Anderson stated it. The only error I made was not to say that the £3,500 was the gross monthly pay.

    She clearly said that the salaries for all of the SF MLAs was paid to the party and the party then paid the £359 per week to each of the MLAs.

    If you wish to clarify this, then log on to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiofoyle and click on the Paul McFadden show Play back for Wednesday….why not check it out and then apologise to me through this medium. OK, mate ???