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Parliament ponders £400,000 iPads-for-MPs plan

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Members of Parliament may soon be issued with an iPad each in a scheme that could cost the tax payer over £400,000.

House members have been testing the Apple tablet throughout the past 12 months in a bid to modernise the Mother of Parliaments and save print costs.

Now the cross-party Administration Committee has recommended a "rapid roll-out" of iPads to issue all 650 MPs with "suitable mobile tablet hardware", the Press Association reports.

"It seems that this is the future, for the convenience in terms of dealing with all the work MPs have to do, but also because it assists in what is a determined policy of the House: reducing the use of paper," quoth Committee Chairman Sir Alan Haselhurst.

"There is a pretty sure case to say that the supply of these will lead to an overall saving for the public purse," he added.

While no estimate on how much wonga could be saved through the technological upgrade, the Chairman insisted the trial, involving 16 members of his committee, saved "several thousands of pounds" simply by circulating information electronically.

If Parliament hands over top-of-the-range tablets at £659 .a pop, the move would cost in excess of £430,000 up front, though a bulk-purchase and selecting lesser-spec iPads could reduce this considerably

A final decision whether or not to issue fondleslabs will be made by the ruling Commons Commission later this month.

In 2011, Labour MP Kerry McCarthy become the first British politician to read a speech from an iPad in Parliament. ®

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