“Apple’s hugely-popular iPad tablets have been widely used in Parliament since 2012. However, only 209 MPs currently own an iPad, which carry a price-tag starting from £399,” Aaron Brown reports for The Express. “The gross cost of supplying MPs with the new equipment is estimated to be around £200,000 a year, including SIM cards, averaged over the life of the Parliament. Liberal Democrat John Thurso, who represents the commission in the chamber, said moving away from Apple’s mobile operating system would require changes to Westminster’s current business processes and incur more costs.”
“Despite the premium price-tag attached to Apple’s best-selling iPad, the decision to buy tablets for MPs has been linked to a programme designed to save money in Parliament,” Brown reports. “The reduction of hard-copy printing in favour of online publications viewed and edited on tablets has already saved more than £3million annually, Mr Thurso said.”
“Shadow Cabinet Office minister Chi Onwurah – who first uncovered the information – blasted the House of Commons Commission’s decision to lock MPs into Apple’s mobile operating system. She said she would have preferred a ‘device agnostic’ policy for all MPs,” Brown reports. “‘As we saw with Nigel Mills and Candy Crush, MPs will be using the games, and the iTunes and other features on the iPad,’ the Labour frontbencher said. ‘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.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, iPad is the best device and iOS is the most cost-effective platform which has already contributed considerable cost-savings. Excellent choice.
So, as she approaches half a decade in office, why can’t most of Onwurah’s constituents afford a £399 iPad?