December 4, 2023

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A minister in turmoil after €12,500 in internet bills… because of his sons

A minister in turmoil after €12,500 in internet bills… because of his sons

Michael Matheson has apologized in Parliament amid huge data roaming bill controversy. According to him, his sons were watching football during their trip to Morocco.

A supplement that goes badly. In Scotland, Michael Matheson, the health secretary, justified an £11,000 (€12,500) bill for data roaming charges on his iPad by watching his sons watch football during a family trip to Morocco over the New Year. 2023 period as per the report BBC.

Not enough to end the dispute in the north of the United Kingdom, where chaos reigns. The cost is initially borne by Parliament, and therefore by Scottish taxpayers.

Michael Matheson was visibly emotional as he apologized to MPs on Thursday. This prompted several netizens to react on X (formerly Twitter), pointing to the minister’s “crocodile tears”.

The latter, when he was informed in January, said he did not understand why it was so high. He pointed out that the device was only used for work.

In the absence of a “clear explanation”, he ruled in March that the politician’s agreeing to contribute £3,000 towards his office expenses – with the House paying the rest – was a fair compromise.

No resignation

A member of the pro-independence government, he returned the money and announced that he had made himself available to Parliament for a more in-depth investigation without submitting his resignation.

This Thursday, he recalled how long he had not known other members of his family used iPads, noting that the tablet was a hotspot that allowed other devices to access the Internet. The Minister of Health explained that he did not mention this issue in his first report on November 10 because he wanted to protect his children.

“As a parent, I wanted to protect them from the political and media scrutiny associated with this matter, which is what any parent would want to do,” he told MPs. “It’s wrong and I’m sorry. The simple fact is that they watched football matches.”

Details of Michael Matheson’s daily data usage have been released by Parliament. The day he was fined £7,346 by Conservative MPs for using 3.18GB of data – coincided with the “old company” – the much-hyped rivalry between Celtic Glasgow and Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish Championship.

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Also, on December 28, 2022, the minister was charged £2,249 to use 1.26GB. That day, Celtic were on the pitch.

However, Michael Matheson postponed a planned visit to the health center in Glasgow after the document was released by Parliament.

Scottish First Minister Hamza Yousaf, whose independence party, the SNP, has been weakened by a scandal linked to its funding, has reiterated his confidence in his minister, assessing that “honest mistakes are being made” on his part.