Donations legislation needs to be changed to prevent Parties from hiding significant donations
Responding to the latest annual report from the Standards in Public Office
Commission, Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan said the legislation covering
donations needed to be changed to give an accurate reflection of what is
raised by political parties.
Deputy Morgan said, “I don’t believe for one minute that Fine Gael or the
PDs received no donations whatsoever in the course of the last two years
and the Labour party didn’t receive any donations in the last year – nor do
I believe for one moment that Sinn Féin was the largest beneficiary of
donations out of all political parties for the last two years. It is not
a credible position and it calls into question the value of the process
that is conducted in relation to the donations statements parties have to
submit to the Standards in Public Office Commission.
“Unfortunately because the levels under which political parties DO NOT have
to publicly declare a donation are set so ridiculously high, at over €5000,
a real picture does not emerge of what parties are receiving in donations
from individuals and corporations. Are we seriously expected to believe
the Joe Higgins' Socialist Party receives more money in donations than Fine
Gael, the PDs and Labour put together?
“Sinn Féin is still the only party to fully make our accounts available to
the general public. We have nothing to hide in relation to where we
receive our funding and how we spend it. We would call on other parties to
do the same and not hide behind legislation, which allows you hide
significant donations from the general public and to pretend you are not in
receipt of donations at all.
“The legislation needs to be changed to lower the level over which parties
are obliged to declare a donation.” ENDS
Note: SIPO statement says, “In the case of Sinn Féin, all of the donations
were made by party TDs, MPs or MLAs”