What does £1,148,992 get you these days?

Beyond the eye-catching figure, from the official accounts for 2008 lodged with the Electoral Commission, that in Northern Ireland Sinn Féin topped the political parties total expenditure list at £1,148,992 – compared to the DUP’s roughly £440,000 across 4 accounts, the UUP’s £397,734, and the SDLP’s £290,169 – there are some interesting details. Sinn Féin’s largest single expenditure noted in the 2008 accounts [pdf file], their “Wages and related costs” bill, rose to £444,637 in 2008 from 2007’s £266,946 – in 2006 it was a mere £171,861. In terms of income, the party has stopped separately itemising “Donations” and “Contributions from elected Reps”.

In the 2007 accounts, “Donations” for 2006 were listed as £103,377. 2007 saw an increase to £298,710 with a corresponding “Contributions from elected Reps” at £490,561.

By 2008, however, the now apparently combined “Donations” amounted to £530,246 with a new category of income “Admin and secretarial support” bringing in £332,479 – that doesn’t seem to be solely the so-called Hain money which, according to this research paper [pdf file] in the Parliamentary library is around £97,000 for 2009/10.

Between 2007 and 2008 the party’s Northern Ireland “Admin expenses” rose from £91,554 to £246,122.