UPLIFT IN MP'S OFFICE BUDGET

To clarify the press stories today regarding the above, this money is not for MPs personal use but for staff equipment essential to undertake the job of representing constituents whilst there is no access to constituency offices. There has, understandably, been a huge upsurge in enquiries from constituents on all matters relating to the pandemic.

The decision to provide an uplift in MPs office budget was taken by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. MPs were not consulted.

I doubt I’ll need to use any of the additional resource, as the extra costs of staff working from home are likely to be met from my existing budget.

No employee should be expected to pay for calls made on behalf of their employer, nor should they be expected to provide their own printer, ink, stationery, stamps or mail redirect to carry out their duties.

It would be inappropriate for staff to use their own laptops – should they have access to one for the duration of the entire working day – since they are handling private and sensitive data on behalf of constituents. As an MP I am bound by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) responsibilities under the law. Parliamentary equipment is part of a secure network necessary for this work.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) continues to press the UK Government to help all employers facilitate staff working from home during this crisis so that everyone is supported.

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