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Women's Unit

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Minister for Women what budgetary provision there is for the current financial year for the cost of the Women and Equality Unit. [37147]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 25 February 2002]: The budget for the Women's Unit at the start of the year, on 1 April 2001 was £2.2 million.

Following the general election, in June 2001, the budget increased to £11.4 million when the unit took on new responsibilities for gender equality, co-ordination of sexual orientation policy and sponsorship of the Equal Opportunities Commission.

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Departmental Expenditure Limits

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to change the departmental expenditure limits for 2001–02. [38464]

Mr. Ingram: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Ministry of Defence Departmental Expenditure Limit will be increased by £813,795,000 from £23,876,578,000 to £24,690,373,000. Within the Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL) change, the impact on resources and capital are as set out in the following table:

New DEL19,034,434
of which:
New DEL5,655,939
of which:

The change in the resource element of the DEL arises from:

The change in the capital element of the DEL arises from:

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The increase will be offset by inter-department transfers and charges to the DEL reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

The total amount included in spring supplementary estimates for the UK military commitment in Afghanistan is £261,000,000 (Resource DEL £195,000,000, Capital DEL £57,000,000 and Annually Managed Expenditure £9,000,000). This figure includes the cost of munitions consumed and represents the total estimated additional cost of operations in 2001–02 over and above the cost of planned activities.


Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the Government have made available to his Department for urgent operational requirements for the campaign against international terrorism. [38465]

Mr. Ingram: I am pleased to announce that the Treasury has agreed to make available from the Reserve a further £55 million for urgent operational requirements for the campaign against international terrorism. This is in addition to the £100 million that the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 27 November 2001 in his pre-Budget report.

The urgent operational requirements that this funding allows us to meet include: equipment to improve our ability to work with the US and other allies, such as additional secure communications equipment; enhancements to our intelligence capabilities; and a range of small but significant enhancements to our forces for operations in the campaign against international terrorism.

Technology Readiness and Risk Assessment


Mr. Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library an unclassified summary of the report of the Technology Readiness and Risk Assessment Programme. [38466]

Mr. Hoon: I have done so.

Defence Bills Agency

Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what performance targets have been set for the Defence Bills Agency for the financial year 2002–03. [38467]

Dr. Moonie: Targets have been set for the Defence Bills Agency for the financial year 2002–03 in accordance with the agency's Service Level Agreement with the Ministry of Defence. The key targets build on the already high standards of service provided by the agency since its formation in 1996 and are as follows:

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Skynet 5 Programme

Mr. Patrick Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the Skynet 5 programme. [38468]

Dr. Moonie: I am delighted to announce that Paradigm has today been selected as the preferred bidder for the Skynet 5 project. This is the largest Ministry of Defence Private Finance Initiative project to have reached the preferred bidder stage, and will deliver the next generation of satellite communications services for Britain's armed forces. The Skynet 5 solution will be based on a constellation of at least two satellites, which will be owned and operated by Paradigm. We expect to place a contract with Paradigm later this year, with an initial service being provided from 2005. In preparation for this, Paradigm will take over responsibility in 2003 for the existing Skynet 4 capability. The PFI approach offers significantly better value for money when compared to

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the whole life costs of a conventional acquisition. The Skynet 5 project will provide UK industry with valuable high technology work, and we expect that around 1,500 jobs will be created or sustained.

Service Accommodation

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many married quarters in each grade (1) in the UK are available to the Defence Housing Executive; and how many service families are entitled to quarters in each grade; [35645]

Dr. Moonie: Married personnel in the armed forces are entitled to a quarter. The type of quarter (i.e. its size, design and number of rooms) to which a married service person is entitled is determined mainly by rank for officers and mainly by family size for other ranks. Family housing in mainland UK is managed by the Defence Housing Executive (DHE) whereas that in Northern Ireland and overseas is managed by the relevant service authorities. A breakdown by Type of the family housing stock is shown in the table.

Figures for numbers of entitled service families are not readily available in the form requested. However, many personnel do not take up their entitlement to family housing, preferring to buy their own. The DHE does not normally house entitled personnel in houses of a type below their entitlement: instead, additional houses are rented by the Ministry of Defence on an ad hoc basis where necessary to meet entitlement.

Officers Other Ranks
TypeI(9)IIIIIIVVTotalD(9)CBATotalGrand Total
UK Mainland693701,9203,9495,11911,4273,64025,53013,89743,06754,494
Northern Ireland120691242074212071,751851142,8233,244
Falkland Island(10)36

(9) Largest

(10) Not assessed by type

(11) Includes hirings

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much expenditure earmarked for single living accommodation maintenance was diverted to high priority items in the last financial year. [36823]

Dr. Moonie: Responsibility for the allocation of maintenance expenditure is delegated to top level budget holders, though they are guided by the high priority we attach to improving single living accommodation, as announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence in March last year. The nature of property maintenance expenditure means that it is difficult in practice to attribute it precisely between single living accommodation and other areas. This information could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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