Financial accounts for political parties in Northern Ireland published
Published: 31 Aug 2017
Financial accounts of political parties in Northern Ireland, with income or expenditure of more than £250,000, have been published today by the Electoral Commission. The accounts are for the year ending 31 December 2016.
Party income and expenditure
Five parties in Northern Ireland reported having gross income or total expenditure of more than £250,000 in 2016.
Alliance - Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
Democratic Unionist Party - D.U.P.
SDLP (Social Democratic & Labour Party)
Ulster Unionist Party
In total, these parties reported £3,037,503 income and £3,346,478 expenditure. Compared to 2015, income increased by about £384k and expenditure increased by more than £700k.
Accounting unit income and expenditure
Political parties may register 'accounting units’ with the Electoral Commission. These are constituent or affiliated units of a political party, including constituency parties, which have separate finances from the main party.
No accounting units in Northern Ireland reported income or expenditure of more than £250,000. Last month the Electoral Commission published the financial accounts of parties and accounting units with income or expenditure of £250,000 or less. For more information, click here.
Ann Watt, Head of the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland, said:
“The availability of these accounts are important for the transparency of political finance outside of election campaigns. People should be able to see how parties raise and spend money and be assured that their accounting is accurate and assessed by an independent auditor.”
The deadline for parties and their accounting units with income or expenditure of more than £250,000 to submit their audited accounts was 7 July 2017. All parties submitted accounts by the deadline; however, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland failed to deliver an auditor’s report with their accounts.
Political parties with income or expenditure of more than £250,000 are required by law to independently audit their accounts and include this report in their submission.
The Commission will consider this failure in line with its established Enforcement Policy.
Full details of the financial accounts published today can be viewed on our website here.
For further information please contact Cahir Hughes in the Electoral Commission press office (Northern Ireland) on 028 9089 4028 or email Chughes@electoralcommission.org.uk. For outside office hours call 07789 920414
Notes to editors:
1. The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
- enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
- regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
- using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.
2. Accounting units with income and expenditure that are either £25,000 or less are not required to submit their accounts.
3. The fact that a Statement of Accounts has been placed on the Commission’s website should not be taken to indicate that the Electoral Commission has verified or validated it in any way.
4. Figures for income and expenditure may have been rounded. Please see online database for exact amounts.
5. Details of how failures to submit Statement of Accounts by the deadline have been dealt with in the past can be found in our publication of Closed Cases.