Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein earnings more than twice its nearest rival party at £1.2m

Sinn Fein earned more than twice as much as its nearest rival in Northern Ireland last year, electoral accounts said.

The republican party's income was worth £1.2 million in 2014. The totals dwarfed the DUP's returns of £482,370, although both parties spent more than they received.

Sinn Fein was in debt by £139,397, according to the Electoral Commission which published details of the main parties' spending, while the DUP overspent by £80,127.

The SDLP and UUP were also in the black

Last year the parties fought European elections and prepared for this May's General Election.

Their 2014 accounts showed:

DUP: Income of £482,370; spent £562,497 - net loss of £80,127.

SDLP: Income of £440,344; spent £418,546 - £21,798 in the black.

Sinn Fein: Income of £1,192,711; spent £1,332,108 - net loss of £139,397.

UUP: Income of £342,642; spent £319,199 - £23,443 in the black.

East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson said only a few weeks ago it was revealed by a Sinn Fein councillor during a court case that he had no access to his council allowances as these were directly paid to the party and remained under their control.

He said: "The income published by the Electoral Commission casts some light on the impact such practices have on their party finances.

"Sinn Fein's income is nearly equal to that of the DUP, SDLP and UUP combined. What we do not know is how much of this money has come from public money which should have been paid directly to public representatives, some of whom are then forced to rely on benefits."


From Belfast Telegraph