Financial Assistance for Political Parties Scheme
The Scheme provides for payments to a political party based on the number of connected Members that the party holds within the Assembly. The Scheme provides financial assistance to a party for the “purpose of assisting members of the Assembly who are connected with that party to perform their Assembly duties”. In the Scheme, this is termed as the “authorized purpose”. All financial assistance provided to parties must be used solely for the authorised purpose of for the provision of administrative support to a party’s Whips’ office.
Full details of the current Scheme and Guidance can be accessed by clicking on the following link.
The amounts available to each party under the two elements of the Scheme are calculated annually and revised should there be a change in membership during the period. The amounts of expenditure available for the current financial year can be accessed on the website by clicking on the following link.
Under the Scheme reimbursements are made to parties for expenditure actually incurred, however staff salaries are paid directly to the staff member by the NI Assembly.
It is possible for stationery to be ordered from Office Resources and paid through the Scheme by way of a recharge. Where this has occurred the supplier will be shown as “NI Assembly”.
The Scheme was revised in 2013, requiring parties to submit invoices or receipts for admissible expenditure with each claim for reimbursement. However under previous versions of the Scheme, parties were given an annual allowance which could be “drawn down” as required to meet expenditure. Under these previous versions of the Scheme, each party was required to submit their records annually to an auditor for independent review.
From the introduction of the 2013 Scheme, all of the accounts are independently audited by an auditor retained by the NI Assembly Commission.
2019-2020 (Figures for first 3 quarters: April 2019 - December 2019)