• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Electoral Commission: SNP accounts for 2020 reveal £1m financial surplus

The SNP found itself in a better financial position in 2020 than the previous year despite falling revenues, party accounts reveal today.

They show that before tax, the SNP ended the last 12 months with a surplus of £1.1m, up from £318,209 in 2019.

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The documents, released by the Electoral Commission, reveal that while overall income fell from £5.3m to £4.4m in 2020, expenditure also fell from £5.6m to £3.3million as staff worked from home and events were set up to take place online. .

However, as the party raised more money through membership fees (from £2.2m to £2.4m), it suffered financial losses with donations dropping from nearly £905,000 to £416,000.

The biggest setback to party finances was the party’s inability to hold an in-person conference last year due to Covid restrictions in place last fall.

In 2019, conference revenue was £718,846, down from £142,358 last year, according to the accounts.

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“The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak in the first quarter of 2020 presented unprecedented challenges,” the accounts say.

“This is an ongoing crisis, and the severity of the situation has had a significant impact on our ability to fundraise and has led to difficult organizational decisions.

“However, with the strength of members, supporters and staff behind us, we have responded effectively and will continue to navigate our way through these difficult times.”

He added: “With large scale in-person meetings being cancelled, there has been a sharp drop in event revenue of over £600,000 in 2020.

“Public concerns about the economy and job security impacted membership numbers in 2020, with the pandemic being cited as a reason to cancel or reduce their dues. 86% of total income in 2020 came from voluntary contributions from members and supporters.

The report continues: “Revenue was generated from six revenue streams:
* Membership 55%
* Fundraising 21%
* Bequest 10%
* Parliamentary levy 7%
* Grant for Policy Development 4%
* Events 3%

The document stated: “The National Treasurer and staff reviewed the financial plans and agreed on a series of activities to ensure financial stability in the years to come.

“The infrastructure is in place to allow staff to work remotely. Significant investment has been made to bring face-to-face activities online.

“The SNP remains resilient by avoiding undue risk, combined with sound financial planning and management. We also remain committed to ongoing financial prudence and control, striving to use funds in the most efficient and as efficiently as possible.”

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Amid ongoing claims of around £600,000 which had been earmarked for indyref2 after a previous fundraising campaign, the party has included an auditors’ report with its accounts at the Electoral Commission.

The report by Johnston Carmichael LLP, a Glasgow accountancy firm, endorsed the party’s accounts.

“We have audited the financial statements of the Scottish National Party for the year ended 31 December 2020, which comprise the income and expenditure account, balance sheet, statement of cash flows and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of
significant accounting policies,” he said.

“The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and UK Accounting Standards (Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in the UK) including FRS 102 ”The Applicable Financial Reporting Standard in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland”.

“In our opinion, the financial statements:
• give an accurate picture of the situation of the Scottish National Party as at 31 December 2020 and its surplus for the financial year ending on that date;
• have been properly prepared in accordance with generally accepted UK accounting practice, and
• have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.”
The accountants said the accounts had been audited in accordance with international standards and laws.

They said: “We are independent of the Scottish National Party in accordance with the ethical requirements which are relevant to our audit of financial statements in the UK, including the FRC ethical standard, and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with those requirements. .

“We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.”

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Their report concluded that “in auditing the financial statements, we have concluded that the National Treasurer’s use of the going concern basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements is appropriate.

“Based on our work, we have not identified any material uncertainties related to events or conditions that, individually or collectively, could cast significant doubt on the Party’s ability to continue as a going concern for a period of at least twelve months from when the financial statements are authorized for issue.”

The document also published Peter Murrell’s salary showing the party’s chief executive, who is married to SNP leader and Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, earned £79,750 a year as of May 31, 2021.