And no, they wouldn't pay for them out of their own pockets. According to The Times, the 736 MEPs would each receive an iPad as part of a £4.3m ($6.2m) taxpayer-funded "IT mobility project".
But the iPad purchases would be just a small slice of that pie: even if the MEPs decided to gift themselves with the juiciest iPad, the 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G, 736 of those £699 magical and revolutionary devices would suck up only a bit over a half-million pounds.
Still, Marta Andreasen, the UKIP member who sits on the budgets and budgetary controls committees, told The Times that she finds the expenditure "completely unnecessary, especially when European taxpayers are facing such difficult times."
What's more, says Andreasen: "We were told the iPads would actually cut costs as they are not expensive and that we would be able to stay connected while outside the office or on holidays, but many of the older MEPs don't even know how to use the internet properly."
The iPad purchase plan was revealed by a senior bureau source who The Times characterized as being "too worried to give his name." He identified the mastermind behind the proposed 'Padding as Klaus Welle, the secretary general of the European Parliament and who, according to the worried person, is known to be an iPhone fanboi.
The Times also notes that although their source claims that the iPad handover is a done deal, a parliament spokeswoman told them that she knew of no plans to acquire 736 iPad for the MEPs in the "immediate future" — but maybe she's just miffed that she's not slated to receive one. ®