30 Oct 2001 : Column: 563W
Mr. Ingram: Before 1975, and currently, pensions were awarded to Service personnel who completed at least 22 years' reckonable service (or 16 years' reckonable service in the case of officers). Gratuities were awarded to those who did not qualify for a pension but had completed 12 years' reckonable service (or nine years in the case of officers).
It has been the long-standing policy of successive Governments that changes to improve benefits from public service pension schemes should normally be implemented from a current date for future service only.
In the case of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, in order to calculate the precise cost of awarding pension rights retrospectively, my Department would have to identify and assess the potential entitlements of all service men who left service before April 1975 without completing enough service to qualify for a pension. There are probably several hundred thousand if not more than a million former service men in this category. An accurate estimate could, therefore, be provided only at disproportionate cost.
None the less, we can be clear that the cost of awarding pensions retrospectively would be considerable. In addition, such a retrospection could not be applied solely to former service men, and would require a change for all public service pension schemes.
Dr. Moonie: The condition of Single Living Accommodation has been examined in detail to underpin decisions on the major investment programme announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 14 March 2001, Official Report, column 600W, in particular the Single Living Accommodation Modernisation prime contract which we plan to award by the end of 2002. Recent surveys indicate that roughly half of the Single Living Accommodation is sub-standard. The Ministry of Defence's objective is to improve all Single Living Accommodation to single bedrooms with en suite shower, wash hand basin and toilet facilities. To this end, an additional £1 billion worth of investment is planned over the next 10 years.
30 Oct 2001 : Column: 564W
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made in publicising and demonstrating assistance offered to veterans of the armed services by central and local government. 
Dr. Moonie: Since my appointment as Minister for Veterans' Affairs on 14 March significant progress has been made in publicising and demonstrating the aims of the Veterans' Initiative. The Ministry of Defence has established a Veterans' Affairs Secretariat and I have chaired two meetings of the Veterans' Forum comprising the Confederation of British Service and Ex-Service Organisations (COBSEO) executive committee members, and officials from Government Departments with an interest in veterans' affairs. I also chaired the first meeting of the Forum in Plenary session on 16 October, which was attended by 158 delegates from veterans' organisations, welfare providers and pressure groups. The Plenary programme included a presentation from the DTLR's National Housing Federation which gave veterans advice on how to get the most out of the "Supporting People" initiative currently being taken forward by local government. The Veterans' Forum has fully endorsed the Strategic Action Plan to take forward the Veterans' Initiative and I will now present the plan to my ministerial colleagues at the Veterans' Task Force on 6 November.
A short press release was issued after each forum meeting and minutes of forum and task force meetings, including a copy of the Strategic Action Plan, have been widely circulated among the veterans' community and are available on the MOD website: http://www.mod.uk/vau
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) by date and (b) by aircraft serial number, all incidents of uncommanded flight control movements in Chinook helicopters since 1 January 1999; and what their cause was. 
|12 March||ZA712||Faulty AFCS|
|17 March||ZA718||Faulty DASH actuator and directional gyro|
|20 April||ZD983||Directional gyro out of tolerance|
|29 April||ZH775||Faulty AFCS and directional gyro|
|14 June||ZA718||Faulty directional gyro|
|29 July||ZA718||Faulty AFCS and directional gyro|
|29 October||ZA711||Faulty directional gyro|
|18 November||ZA711||Faulty directional gyro|
|6 January||ZA714||Faulty AFCS|
|6 January||ZA718||Faulty AFCS|
|11 February||ZA682||Faulty vertical gyro|
|4 April||ZA682||Faulty DASH actuator gear assembly|
|5 April||ZA679||Faulty DASH actuator|
|5 April||ZA684||Faulty directional gyro connector|
|30 May||ZA710||Faulty AFCS|
|24 July||ZA679||Faulty AFCS and DASH actuator|
|5 August||ZA674||Faulty cables to AFCS|
|9 November||ZA671||Faulty vertical gyro|
|12 November||ZA671||Faulty AFCS|
|17 January||ZH777||Units replaced following pitch oscillations|
|1 March||ZA709||Faulty directional gyro|
|1 May||ZA674||Faulty directional gyro|
|24 May||ZA680||Faulty lower control actuators|
|5 July||ZD981||Faulty attitude indicator|
30 Oct 2001 : Column: 565W
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list each occasion on which pilots have temporarily lost control of RAF Chinook helicopters during an uncommanded flying control movement. 
Mr. Ingram: No such instances have occurred. Aircrew have retained full control of the aircraft whenever an uncommanded flying control movement has taken place by successfully mitigating the effects of the control movement.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is (1) of the level of UK defence spending as a share of UK gross domestic product for each year from 197374 to 200203; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 29 October 2001]: Following the introduction of resource accounting and budgeting (RAB) in the Ministry of Defence on 1 April 2001, future financial planning, management and reporting is conducted on the new resource basis.
|Financial year||Percentage GDP|
30 Oct 2001 : Column: 566W
|Financial year||Percentage GDP|
Mr. Ingram: The legal status of the UK Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus is as set out in the Cyprus Act 1960 and the 1960 Treaty of Establishment. Under the Act, the Sovereign Base Areas were retained as UK sovereign territory when the Republic of Cyprus achieved independence.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the predicted total number of frigates and destroyers will be in the Royal Navy after the final type 45 destroyer comes into service. 
Mr. Ingram: On current plans and based on the outcome of the Strategic Defence Review, the number of frigates and destroyers in service after the final type 45 destroyer comes into service will be 32.
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