Sinn Fein’s coffers utterly dwarf all rivals with party spending over four times as much in 2020 as the DUP

Sinn Fein had the highest expenditure of any political party in Northern Ireland last year, financial accounts have revealed.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 1:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th August 2021, 1:47 pm
Sinn Fein's NI leader Michelle O'Neill

It continues a long-running pattern; the republican party usually leads the field in terms of its finances, and has often dwarfed its rivals.

The accounts published by the Electoral Commission show that the republican party had income of £801,145 and expenditure of £1,338,666 for 2020.

The next highest spending party was the DUP, which had income of £340,656 and expenditure of £338,541.

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The Alliance Party had income of £282,958 and expenditure of £241,578, while the UUP spent £239,038 with an income of £317,900 and the SDLP brought in £206,736 with an expenditure of £162,177.

Cahir Hughes, head of the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland, said: “All registered political parties must keep financial records and submit annual statements of accounts to us.

“Publishing this data helps voters see political parties’ income and what they’re spending. This is an important part of delivering transparency in political finance in Northern Ireland, and in enhancing public confidence and trust in our democratic processes.”

In total, 30 parties in Northern Ireland reported £2,237,841 of income and £2,569,735.40 of expenditure.

This compares with accounts for 2019 in which 28 parties reported £4,275,093.34 of income and £3,312,540 of expenditure.

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