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Mr. Bayley [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The average duration of Incapacity Benefit for claims which terminated in the period 1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999 is 1,027 days. If people who leave Incapacity Benefit for retirement pension are excluded, the average duration is 500 days.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average time that people who apply for a national insurance number must wait before (a) being given an appointment with the Benefits Agency and (b) receiving a national insurance number. 
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people in Greenock and Inverclyde will benefit from the latest increase in Child Benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
The latest information shows there are 13,610 children and 7,957 families in the Greenock and Inverclyde parliamentary constituency receiving Child Benefit. Since 1997 the rate of Child Benefit for the first child has increased by 26 per cent. in real terms. The rates from April 2001 are £15.50 for the first child and £10.35 for all other children.
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Mr. Spellar: Key Targets (KT) have been set for the Chief Executive for financial year 2001-02. The targets build on the progress already made by ABRO since it formed in April 1993 and will help it to prepare for trading fund status. They are as follows:
Mr. Spellar: I am pleased to announce that following further development work and extensive trials, the GR4 with improved software achieved a Military Aircraft Release on 10 April. We expect shortly to deploy the GR4 operationally.
Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement about the future of the contract to be placed with Harland and Wolff for the construction of two roll-on roll-off ferries to provide strategic sea lift capability for the armed forces; 
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Mr. Hoon [holding answer 24 April 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 9 March 2001, Official Report, column 359W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore). The commercial shipbuilding contracts for the two ships to be built by Harland and Wolff have been taken over by the Ministry of Defence. These contracts will be managed on our behalf by AWSR Shipping Ltd.
Negotiations on the Private Finance Initiative contract for the full Strategic Sealift service are proceeding and we expect to place a contract shortly. As a result of the adoption of a parallel build programme in two yards, it is planned that the full Strategic Sealift capability will be available by 2003, some two years ahead of the planned in-service date. Until then, a provisional service is being managed by MOD, providing an enhanced level of sealift compared to that previously available.
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 24 April 2001]: Over the next four years RAF Valley is tasked to provide places for 102 fast jet pilot students per year to meet the current RAF Valley output target of 80 pilots per year. The output target is determined by the future front-line manning requirements and is reviewed regularly. The RAF Valley output target has recently been increased as the result of such a review.
Capacity is greater than output as not all students achieve the full range of skills necessary to complete fast jet training. Those that do not are usually restreamed into rotary wing or multi-engine roles.
Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out the anticipated shortfalls in (a) fast jet pilots and (b) single seat fast jet pilots for each of the next five years. 
|Year||Fast jet pilots(1),(2)|
(1) Figures comprise the forecast shortfall in RN Sea Harrier pilots and RAF junior officer pilots--filling both flying posts (including front line and training squadrons) and ground appointments
(2) RAF Personnel Manning Agency. RAF Manpower planning forecasts do not differentiate between the various types of jet aircraft
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 24 April 2001]: As at 31 March 2001, there were 230 combat ready fast jet pilots in the Royal Air Force and 21 in the Royal Navy. A further 94 pilots were at lower states of readiness.
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Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current shortages of trained pilots are for the (a) Sea Harrier FA2, (b) Harrier GR7, (c) Tornado F3, (d) Tornado GR1-GR4 and (e) Jaguar. 
|Aircraft type||Pilot shortfall|
|Sea Harrier FA2||5|
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