MPs Expense £70,000 Worth Of iPhones, iPads And PCs Before Election Deadline

Evil parliament (c) pisaphotography, Shutterstock 2014
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Expenses watchdog suggests unseated or retiring MPs should donate equipment to charity

Sixty MPs in the last Parliament expensed more than £70,000 worth of new iPhones, iPads and PCs in the last month before such purchases were banned in the lead up to last week’s General Election.

The spending spree caught the attention of the expenses watchdog, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which wrote to the MPs concerned, seeking assurances that the devices were for parliamentary duty.

“Having looked into these claims we are satisfied that they are within the rules,” IPSA told TechWeekEurope. “This covers purchases made during September 2014, as the restrictions on capital purchases began on September 30, 2014.

“The total value of the purchases for all MPs in September amounts to £71,216.48. We have issued guidance to MPs that they should transfer these items to a successor, another MP or donate the equipment to charity.”

iPads in the Commons

David-Cameron-tablet dashboardReports suggest Peter Hain, former Labour MP for Neath, was one of the 60 MPs involved and expensed more than £1,900 for a new iPad, iPhone and PC despite the fact he was stepping down at election. It is claimed Hain needed to replace broken equipment and there is no suggestion he broke any rules.

It is thought ISPA may evaluate the expense rules for MPs who step down or lose their seat at an election.

However the MPs elected may not have to worry about expensing such items, with reports prior to the election claiming that all 650 members will be eligible to receive an iPad Air 2 to reduce paperwork.

Prime Minister David Cameron has long been a fan of the iPad and in December 2011 received a personalised iPad app to help him govern the country.

The customised iPad app, developed by Cabinet Office, allows the Prime Minister to remain abreast of government business, by acting as a government dashboard, providing the Prime Minister with all the latest information from across Whitehall – including the latest NHS waiting-list figures, crime statistics, unemployment numbers, and a wide variety of other data – at a glance.

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