Electoral gains lead to big rise in Solidarity-PBP’s State funding

Solidarity-PBP had a surplus of €205,000 for the year

 Solidarity-People Before Profit  TDs (from left) Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger, Richard Boyd Barrett and Gino Kenny. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Solidarity-People Before Profit TDs (from left) Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger, Richard Boyd Barrett and Gino Kenny. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

 

Electoral success in 2016 resulted in a nine-fold increase in income for Solidarity-People Before Profit and a six-fold rise for the Green Party, new figures show.

The Statements of Accounts for political parties for last year show that Solidarity-People Before Profit had an income of €736,000, up from €82,000 in 2015.

The bulk of this money comes from the State and is received by registered political parties with more than 2 per cent of the national vote. The total depends on the number of TDs elected.

Solidarity-People Before Profit won six Dáil seats in last year’s general election. Additional staff and administrative costs resulted in expenditure of €530,000 and it had a surplus of €205,000 for the year.

The Green Party went from having no TDs and less than 2 per cent of the national vote to having two TDs and a senator. This saw its State funding rise to more than €400,000 compared to €70,000 in 2015.

The accounts are published by the Standards in Public Office Commission, which is chaired by Mr Justice Daniel O’Keeffe.

The commission noted that three political parties were not compliant in 2016 and a further six had not supplied any accounts. One of those not to supply accounts was the Workers’ Party.

Some of the smaller parties complained that they did not have the resources to supply full accounts that are subject to audit.

The commission repeated its view that it was excessive to expect all parties to furnish audited statements irrespective of size. It recommended exempting smaller parties from this requirement.

Of the bigger parties, Fine Gael’s total income was €6.22 million but it recorded spending of €7.48 million, leaving a deficit of €1.26 million.

Fianna Fáil had income of more than €5.3 million from the State, while Sinn Féin had total income of €3.4 million, including €3 million in State funding.

Renua had funding of €218,000 last year.