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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Three NI parties are 'in the red'
The accounts from the political parties have been published
Three of Northern Ireland's five main parties are in debt, according to the latest financial accounts.

The figures, published by the Electoral Commission, show the DUP, UUP and Alliance are in the red by 50,000, 450,000 and 40,000 respectively.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP, however, each recorded a surplus for 2005.

In Sinn Fein's case it was 1,000. The SDLP, which was struggling with debts just a few years ago, has recovered with a surplus of almost 60,000.

The DUP's debts have fallen from last year, but legal costs for the party have risen to about 14,000.

The DUP revealed it had almost 3,000 members and that it had dissolved three branches, including one in Moira. The members joined other branches.

BBC Northern Ireland political correspondent Martina Purdy said Sinn Fein, which has tackled a 200,000 debt, is largely financed by contributions from elected representatives.

"These total almost 500,000 - the party received donations of around 140,000 last year," she said.

"The SDLP raised funds of about 330,000.

"The DUP received donations of around 90,000 but its largest source of income was an Electoral Commission grant.

"The Ulster Unionists received donations of about 75,000 and income from membership fees rose to around 220,000."

Police examine UUP bank accounts
16 Jun 06 |  Northern Ireland
Move over NI political donations
24 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland
Report shows election overspend
29 Mar 06 |  Northern Ireland
SDLP faces cash problems
26 Jul 04 |  Northern Ireland

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