Holyrood bosses have been called on to investigate an £11,000 data roaming bill racked up by the Health Secretary.Michael Matheson has been criticised over the £65 an hour, 24 hours a day bill he incurred on a family holiday in Morocco.As the device was issued by the Scottish Parliament, officials challenged the fee but the provider declined to waive it.Matheson will contribute £3,000 towards the bill from his expenses budget and has insisted the data use was for parliamentary business.Speaking to reporters, he said: “It's been explained that it has been caused by an outdated sim card that was in an ipad that I had for constituency purposes, which was a parliamentary ipad.“And it hadn't been replaced.
I wasn't aware that it hadn't been replaced. and the cost built up as a result of that.”He added: “As the Parliament have also said very clearly, the network provider didn't provide information around the cost that had been incurred as well.
Matheson also said Holyrood had confirmed the equipment was used for “constituency and parliamentary” purposes.He walked away from reporters after refusing to take any more questions.A spokesperson for the First Minister said it was a parliamentary matter, but added that he - the special adviser - had spoken to the Health Secretary.
Tory MSP Craig Hoy told MSPs: "Last night it was reported that an MSP in this chamber racked up a bill of £11,000 through data roaming charges whilst on holiday.