Scotland Times

Friday, May 24, 2024

Michael Matheson rejects call to hand in iPad over £11k bill

Scottish Health Secretary Michael Matheson has refused to hand over his parliamentary iPad for inspection after accruing an £11,000 data roaming bill during a holiday in Morocco.

He has agreed to personally pay the full amount, attributing the high charges to an outdated sim card in the device. The Scottish Tories had called for the iPad to be examined to ensure the charges were solely for parliamentary and constituency work.

Matheson stated that the matter was previously investigated by a parliamentary IT manager. A Scottish Parliament spokesperson confirmed that the device was functioning properly, but it could not provide specific data usage details for a certain timeframe.

Initially, Matheson had agreed to pay £3,000 towards the bill from his expenses budget, but after First Minister Humza Yousaf stated it was a legitimate expense, Matheson later decided to reimburse the full cost.

The incident has led the Scottish Parliament to review its mobile data usage policy and plan a new mobile phone contract to prevent such charges in the future. The bill notably exceeded the total phone-related expenses claimed by all MSPs in the previous year.

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