Sinn Fein MP Finucane’s £56k law salary for as little as 40 hours a month

A Sinn Fein MP is earning a salary of just over £56,000 per year from his law firm – for as little as 40 hours of work per month.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 7:00 am
Boxer Carl Frampton (left) entering court as part of a financial lawsuit last year, with his lawyer John Finucane walking close behind

John Finucane, who founded the firm Finucane Toner in 2014, was elected to represent North Belfast in December 2019.

The parliamentary register of interests contains no entries for six of Sinn Fein’s seven MPs.

But under Mr Finucane’s name it says: “I receive £4,672 a month in return for an expected monthly commitment of between 40 and 80 hours since January 2020.”

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That adds up to an annual salary from his law firm of £56,064.

In addition to this, underneath the heading “land and property portfolio” Mr Finucane has listed a house in Belfast.

MPs are required to list property under the following conditions: If the property is not their home and is worth over £100,000, or if it generates an annual income of £10,000 or more.

The MPs’ register also says Mr Finucane has a 15% stake in his law firm, where he is a partner.

MPs normally get a salary of £82,000, but since Mr Finucane does not take his seat, he is only allowed to claim expenses.

The parliamentary register shows that since becoming an MP he has claimed £22,573 in office costs, £18,586 in staffing costs, and £2,167 in travel and accommodation – £43,326 in total.

Sinn Fein has long touted its policy of elected members receiving only an “average industrial wage”.

For example in 2011 Mary Lou McDonald declared: “Our elected representatives only take the average industrial wage as a gesture to show that we are not in politics for personal gain but for a genuine political cause.”

But it is not clear if this policy still applies.

The party (whose stated objective remains the creation of a “socialist republic” on the island) was asked whether Mr Finucane takes only an “average industrial wage” out of his £56,064 law firm salary, and donates the rest to the party.

It was also asked whether its “average industrial wage” policy remains in force, and if so what the going rate currently is.

It did not respond to these inquiries.

In addition, the News Letter also asked Finucane Toner why Mr Finucane is being paid the amount he is for between 40 and 80 hours of work a month.

It also did not respond to inquiries.

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