SIPO must follow the money

Following yesterday’s report in the Irish Independent about Sinn Féin’s use of expenses to pay for party workers, both SIPO and the Oireachtas Commission are looking at the party’s finances. Readers will recall I probed the issue on several occasions last Autumn, starting with the Average Wage Question. SIPO didn’t see any reason to act […]

Below average

While I wait for Sinn Féin TDs and senators to get back to me, and consider my response to SIPO’s recent communications, a little something to tide you over if you’ve been following the “average wage” saga. Here’s a Sinn Féin press release about MPs’ expenses: “Sinn Féin MPs, like all party members who are […]

Letter to Sinn Féin TDs and senators

A chara, I am a freelance journalist, and recently I’ve been spending some time looking at the practice of Sinn Féin TDs and Senators where they “draw down” an average industrial wage, and the balance (less taxes) is spent on constituency services, which I understand to mean constituency office workers, based on my inquiries to […]

Irrational, unreasonable and perverse

During the lengthy wait between my first questions to Sinn Féin about the average wage and their reply, I wrote to SIPO. I asked the Standards Commission to look into inconsistencies between Sinn Féin statements and reporting requirements. “If a TD decides to spend part or all of his/her salary on the provision of constituency […]

Sinn Féin replies

On Monday 18 September, I addressed some questions to Sinn Féin about their “average industrial wage” claims, and the amounts their TDs donated to their party. In the three weeks since then, I’ve posted several times on the issue, and Sinn Féin’s compliance with SIPO regulations. This evening, I received the reply below from the […]

Difference

On Saturday, Sinn Féin senator David Cullinane was asked where any money above the €530 per week allowance he received from the party went. He replied “into the local constituency employing people who work for the party.” When I asked the senator David Cullinane where the legislation governing political donations made a distinction between money […]

When is a political donation not a political donation?

Let’s recap some more. A TD earns €92672K. She pays her taxes. For a single PAYE worker in the private sector with standard deductions, that’s a net income of €55615. You can get away with less, but let’s go with €55615. If she’s a Sinn Féin TD, she takes home €530 a week. That’s €27560 […]

Don’t worry yourself about it

Let’s recap. Last week I asked: If a Sinn Féin TD only takes home the “average wage” and donates the rest, how much is Sinn Féin getting as a result of that donation? And how does that square with SIPO requirements? Last night, I had a twitter exchange with Sinn Féin senator David Cullinane, and […]

‘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 […]

The average wage question

Nine months ago, I wrote a story about Sinn Féin and the average wage. In brief, Sinn Féin say their TDs and senators are paid only the average wage, and hand over the rest to the party. Which is fine, except for a few things. One, there are legal limits on how much can be […]