Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Auditors: Scottish Lib Dems "not a going concern"

An alarming story from The Herald:

Scottish Liberal Democrats have been warned by their auditors that they may be forced out of business if they do not tackle their financial debts.

The party has been told it may be deemed, in accounting terms, to be no longer a going concern, after nearly a tenth of its expenditure last year was not met by income.

The newspaper goes on to say:

In the Scottish LibDem case, expenditure reached £766,000, and the deficit ran to nearly £75,000. Liabilities exceeded assets by £22,131.

The auditor, PFF (UK), concluded that it could sign off last year's accounts as a true and fair view of the Scottish LibDem finances, but warned that the deficit conditions "indicate the existence of a material unceratinty which may cast significant doubt about the party's ability to continue as a going concern".

But, as the Herald points out, other Scottish parties are equally precariously placed but have not received such warnings:

At the end of last year the SNP assets outstripped its liabilities by £585,000, and after raising more than £2.5m to run the party and its election campaigns, its overspend on the year was £241,000.

Scottish Labour's finances are closely tied up with Labour in London, which pays almost all the Scottish salary bill. While the Glasgow office ran a small surplus, London headquarters has debts of £18.9m - down from £25m the previous year.

One is reminded of the work of the poet Ewan McTeagle:

Oh gie me a shillin' for some fags
and I'll pay yer back on Thursday,
but if you wait till Saturday
I'm expecting a divvy from the Harpenden Building Society

No comments: