All British MPs to receive free iPads after election

By Aileen Graef  |  March 26, 2015 at 1:22 PM
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LONDON, March 26 (UPI) -- The MPs in the U.K.'s House of Commons will all receive new iPads when they go into session after the election.

Each of the 650 members of Parliament will receive an iPad Air 2 which costs £499 ($741) and will total to about £1 million ($1.5 million) in taxpayer funds.

The tablets are part of a plan to get the politicians to read and annotate papers on their devices rather than printing hard copies, theoretically saving £3 million per year in the long run.

"Our requirements are for a secure [mobile data-enabled] tablet with a good life expectancy and capable of supporting future upgrades. The Apple iPad Air 2 meets these requirements and is competitively priced when compared with similar models."

The MPs, however, may have plans other than saving paper. Tory MP Nigel Mills was caught playing the tablet game Candy Crush for more than two hours during a select committee hearing.

"As we saw with Nigel Mills and Candy Crush, MPs will be using the games, and the iTunes and other features on the iPad," said Shadow Cabinet Office minister Chi Onwurah. "Locking some of the most powerful people in the country into a platform that most of my constituents can't afford seems like a mistake. And that's without mentioning the tax avoidance issue. I'm pushing for a device-independent digital platform for Parliament."

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has previously stated his fondness for his tablet, including his habit for playing Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja.

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