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 got some way to the answers.

The “average industrial wage” Sinn Féin pay is €530 a week.

That’s a net figure. To take home €530, a single person on PAYE with no additional deductions would have to earn €34225, €658.17 a week.

Average weekly earnings in the private sector were €611.88 at the end of 2011Q2 (CSO). Close enough, I guess.

Cullinane says the rest goes on “employing people who work for the party”, and “you can spend your money on your constituency service. You are limited in what you can donate directly to a party. Difference.”

The senator did not answer my question about the section of the law distinguishing between local and national political donations.

But he reassured me I’m “free to contact” SIPO.

Sinn Féin press office as yet to get back to me.

More to follow.

[With thanks to Fergus O’Rourke (@ubfid) who brought my blog posts to the senator’s attention and started the conversation]

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.


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