The Electoral Commission has confirmed that UKIP Northern Ireland have been fined £3,500 for completing an inaccurate spending return for the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly elections. The Electoral Commission said that the party had incorrectly filed a nil return, but had now paid the fine which was issued.
Bob Posner, the Electoral Commission Director of Political Finance and Regulation, said:
“Annual accounts are the only information available to voters providing an overview of a party’s finances. In the case of parties which do not receive donations above the reporting threshold, it is also the only information available to voters as to the party’s income. That being the case it is important that these parties deliver accounts, and do so on time. The majority of smaller parties do so and we will take action where others do not.
The Commission has asked the Government to consider increasing the level of fines which can be imposed for these types of offences, in order to ensure there continues to be a deterrent to parties breaching the rules”.