‘SIPO has no record…’

An individual is allowed to make a donation of up to €6348.69 to a political party in any given year, according to the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO).

In addition, the individual may donate up to €2539.48 to an individual member of the party; a TD or senator or councillor, or someone who is a candidate for one of those poses in an election.

Under section 24(1A) of the Electoral Act 1997, this generous individual is required to file a return to SIPO (imaginatively named Form 24(1A)) if the total of their donations is greater than € 5078.95.

Yesterday, I blogged some questions about Sinn Féin claims regarding how much their TDs and Senators are paid.

This morning, I emailed those questions to Sinn Féin, and telephoned SIPO asking them about donations by Sinn Féin TDs and senators.

SIPO have replied to me, saying they have “no record of receiving a section 24(1A) donation statement from any elected member of Sinn Féin.”

They add that they’d “be happy to examine any information that would support a claim that a section 24(1A) donation statement should have been furnished to it by anyone.”

Sinn Féin have yet to get back to me.

Sinn Féin: Image courtesy of Cian Ginty

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  1. Doesn’t the party also to file on where their donations came from? I have always wondered how they got around this, as since the wages coming from the state, i.e., tax-payer money, then does the donations not mean that the state is funding a political party, and isn’t the party then making some sort of if not illegal then unethical gain in that manner by requiring that all elected representatives give their salaries above a certain amount, to them? And what happens to the expenses claimed from the respective governments, and the staff wages as well? What about double jobbing wages, or wages for speaking enagements, books, media etc, are those subject to the same wage limit or can the person keep those incomes?

    It is all well and good for the soundbite and optics to boast about reducing party elected representatives to average wages (and pocketing the rest for the party) but it never seems to stand up to scrutiny when examined. I am glad you are asking these questions and I hope you get to the bottom of it and get some clarity out of a very murky policy.

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