FG, Labour and FF fail to declare party donations

FINE GAEL failed to declare a single donation made to the party last year, despite the fact that it was actively raising cash in preparation for the election.

Labour and Fianna Fáil also failed to declare any donations, highlighting problems with donations law.

Under law, a political party must declare any donation exceeding €5,078.95.

But a party can accept as many sums as it likes beneath that figure and not have to declare them.

The watchdog in this area, the Standards in Public Office Commission, has called repeatedly for the law to be changed so that disclosure thresholds are lowered and the public is given a fuller picture of where parties get their money. But the commission’s calls have been repeatedly ignored.

Reports published by the commission yesterday showed just €67,907 in donations was declared by political parties for 2010 — the lowest figure ever disclosed.

Of that, the Green Party declared €38,088, Sinn Féin €24,000 and the Socialist Party the remaining €5,819. Elected members of all three donate a portion of their salary to their parties each year to help fund activities.

No other party disclosed any donation in 2010, despite preparing election campaigns.

Individual TDs, MEPs and senators are also required to declare donations if they exceed €634.87 and a total of €99,843 in donations was declared for 2010.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney was by far the biggest recipient, declaring €19,650 in donations.

Labour’s Junior Minister Alan Kelly, an MEP in 2010, declared €10,980. The senator with the largest amount of disclosed donations was independent Ronan Mullen who declared €9,934.

The Commission also published details of how much each party received in public funding from the Exchequer.

Fianna Fáil received €5.2m, Fine Gael €4.5m, Labour €2.1m, the Green Party €801,999 and Sinn Féin €830,298.


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