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MPs went on a last minute pre-election iPad and iPhone buying spree using their expenses

The expenses authority wrote to 60 MPs about purchases

Dozens of MPs went on a last minute pre-election iPad and iPhone buying spree using their expenses, parliament’s watchdog has said.

According to figures released by the Independent Parliament Standards Authority (Ipsa), 60 representatives spent around £70,000 on high-end electronics just before the pre-election deadline.

Ipsa was so concerned about the purchases that it wrote to the MPs concerned and sought assurances that the equipment was being used for their jobs, according to the Press Association.

The six-month pre-election deadline is in place to prevent MPs from loading up on electronics using their expenses if they are unlikely to need them for work.

No rules were broken by the purchases, but the watchdog recommended that MPs who were standing down or defeated at the election donate the devices to charity.

The authority said it had no powers to actually enforce this request, however. A spokesperson added that the purchases were within the rules and confirmed it had issued guidance.

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

The MPs expense regime was tightened up after the expenses scandal under the last Labour government.

Ipsa was created in 2009 and is perceived by many MPs to be much tougher than its predecessor.

Source: Independent

Independent News Service


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