THE SNP has a deficit of more than £800,000, party accounts show.

Figures published by the Electoral Commission on Thursday show the party spent just over £5.05 million in the last year, around £200,000 less than in 2021, but received just £4.25m in income.

This has resulted in a deficit of £803,659.

There was a decrease in the amount of income from membership fees, dropping from £2,516,854 in 2021 to £2,286,944. The accounts reveal members gave "the soaring cost of living... as the reason for cancelling or lowering membership payments".

Meanwhile, fundraising income fell from £437,820 in 2021 to £384,984 in 2022. 

The accounts state: “Neither this deficit, nor the balance sheet, are out of keeping with other years in which nation-wide elections were fought, including 2021.

"However, it will be important to seek to return the party to surplus in 2023 as we build towards the next general election.”

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The accounts also confirm the new SNP chief executive, Murray Foote, will earn £95,000 a year.

The report states membership payments decreased by 9%, however explains the party offers the opportunity to "skip, holiday or reduced giving".

Treasurer Stuart McDonald, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East SNP MP, defended the drop in membership payments, stating: "Public concern about the economy and job security has understandably impacted on membership income in 2022, with the soaring cost of living being given as the reason for cancelling or lowering membership payments."

Donations also halved from £695,000 to £368,000, but conference income grew significantly from £182,000 to £522,000.

On expenditure, office costs increased from £370,684 to 3582,897, as did staffing costs, from £1,282,780 in 2021 to £1,329,403 in 2022. 

Miscellaneous expenditure also grew from £155,381 in 2021, to £276,655 last year. 

McDonald added in his contribution: "The Party remains thankful for every member and supporter who gave money to the Party during the year - whether through membership fees and regular donations or contributions through appeals, selling raffle tickets to friends and family, and coming along to national events. 

“Events since the start of the pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis have thrown into stark relief just how critical regular giving income is for the Party, providing an essential core income and giving time and space to review, adjust and react when challenges arise.

"The Party will give renewed focus on this area to ensure regular giving is nurtured and protected.”

The party is understood to still owe £60,000 to former chief executive Peter Murrell, who loaned the party £107,620 in June 2021 to “assist with cashflow”.

His identity in the accounts is referred to as “executive management”.

It also adds that the financial report “cannot and does not comment on any matters subject to ongoing police investigation.”