​Those roaming charges can certainly prove an expensive business - Susan Dalgety

​Who hasn’t run up an £11,000 phone bill on a family holiday, then expected their boss to pick up the tab?

​ After all, when the kids are moaning that they want to watch Netflix, stream Roblox or Facetime their friends back home, it might seem like a good idea to pass them your work iPad and let them log on for a few hours.

It won’t cost that much, you think and anyway, it keeps them quiet and you can do your three work emails later when they’re in bed.

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Of course, this is not what happened when Health Secretary Michael Matheson took his family on holiday earlier this year. His £11,000 bill for mobile data, racked up while on a week-long family holiday in Morocco, was all for his legitimate work as the MSP for Falkirk West.

Not a single megabyte was for personal use, or even as his role as health chief – every gigabyte of data was for constituency business.

Even given expensive roaming charges, Mr Matheson must have spent most of his Christmas break dealing with constituency problems to run up such a hefty bill. What a saintly man he is, sacrificing time by the pool to tend to problems in Stenhousemuir.

Perhaps the Falkirk Wheel had sprung a leak or the Kelpies needed their MSP to table a motion in parliament. Who knows?

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All we have been told is the Scottish Parliament agreed to foot the bill after reassurances from Mr Matheson that every penny was incurred in relation to his role as an MSP.

Three thousand pounds has come out of Mr Matheson’s office expenses, and the rest out of the parliament’s general pot. Money that comes from your income tax, but all in a good cause.

And of course we believe the First Minister’s reassurances that not a single, relevant WhatsApp message made during the height of the pandemic was later deleted.

Never mind that he and his deputy, Shona Robison could not get their story straight about when the UK Covid inquiry asked for the messages.

Humza Yousaf would never mislead parliament, just as his Health Secretary would not expect parliament to pay for his personal phone bills. Anyone who says otherwise is just making mischief.

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