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SDLP, DUP and UUP ensure their corporate donations remain secret – Doherty

17 January, 2011

Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone Pat Doherty has called for an end to the policy of keeping donations to political parties in the Six Counties secret. Mr Doherty has also called for the current threshold of £7500 for reportable donations to be lowered to £500.

His comments come after the NIO revealed that legislation should be brought forward to ensure that the identities of donors and lenders should continue to be kept confidential for a further two years.

Speaking today Mr Doherty said;

“Each year Sinn Fein publishes the party’s financial statements for both the North and the South. We do this in line with party policy on the issue and in the interests of transparency and openness.

Like all organisations political parties need sufficient income to cover their expenditure. The general public understands that fundraising and donations are part and parcel of generating that income.

Justifiable public cynicism is generated when it is perceived that political parties are not being open and transparent about their financial affairs. Vested interests being allowed to secretly contribute to political parties does a disservice to politics in general. It is a practice which needs to be brought to an end. Sinn Fein does not receive any corporate donations.

In response to this consultation we demanded an end to the practice of secret donations and also called for the current £7500 threshold for reportable individual donations to be lowered to £500.

Sinn Fein and those who vote for us expect the highest standards from all of our public representatives. Regardless of the outcome of this consultation we will continue to act in an open and transparent manner with regards to our financial affairs and we would encourage the other parties to do likewise.
I have no doubt people will be frustrated that on this occasion the SDLP, the DUP and the UUP have ensured that their corporate donators will remain hidden from public scrutiny.” CRÍOCH

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