Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Sinn Fein denied £2m in salaries and grants

Sinn Fein has been denied almost £2m in Westminster salaries and grants because it does not take its seats, it was disclosed yesterday.

President Gerry Adams called on other parties to come clean on their expenses as he published details of the accounts.

The republican party, which has five MPs, rents a townhouse and apartment in London.

Mr Adams said: “There is deep public anger over the abuse of allowances by MPs at Westminster.

“There is anger at the systematic ripping off of taxpayers’ money from those elected to high office and anger at the complete lack of transparency and accountability.

“Not only does the system need to change, there is a need for a change in political culture.”

The party faced criticism earlier this week over its London accommodation. But Mr Adams said: “The British Government refuses to pay Sinn Fein MPs our salaries and other grants, which all other MPs receive.

“Over the last five years this has amounted to almost £2m.”

This includes £100,000 a year in policy development grants given to the SDLP and DUP, Sinn Fein added.

Each MP draws £21,600 a year for rent and services at the London properties. They are also allowed up to £100,205 a year each in staff costs.

Mr Adams added Sinn Fein had voluntarily published full annual accounts in the north and south of Ireland and in the US.

All Sinn Fein party members who are paid a wage, including MPs, receive £356 a week net.

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