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The Minister of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP today published draft legislation which would increase the transparency of donations and loans to Northern Ireland political parties.
The new law would enable the Electoral Commission to publish details of all donations made to Northern Ireland recipients since 2007, and loans made since 2008, providing this information does not identify the donor.
The proposed new law also provides for details of all donations from public funds from 1st January 2014 to be released automatically and sets out how donors can consent to all the details of past donations being released.
Andrew Robathan said:
I believe that the current arrangements in Northern Ireland do not strike an appropriate balance between the public interest in information about political party funding and the security of individuals. The Government is committed to increasing the information available to the public about the funding of Northern Ireland parties on an incremental basis, taking into account the possible security risks.
The proposed changes will enable the Electoral Commission to provide information to the public about the scale and sources of funding to Northern Ireland parties for the first time. They will be an important first step towards transparency.
The Government is inviting comments on the proposed legislation. Responses are requested by 28 April 2014.