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Overseas Territories

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the garrisons or other forms of military presence that his Department provided in Britain's overseas territories at (a) July 1998 and (b) April 2002, stating in each case the territory and the number of armed forces personnel; and if he will make a statement. [51260]

Mr. Ingram: We maintain Overseas Commands in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, and the UK Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, a naval party in the British Indian Ocean Territory and an RAF station on Ascension Island. Until March 2001 we maintained a small military detachment on South Georgia. Small numbers of service personnel are occasionally stationed in other overseas territories. Full details are as follows:

TerritoryJuly 1998April 2002
Ascension Island2325
British Antarctic Territory33
British Indian Ocean Territory4040
Falkland Islands(10)(11)1,500(11)1,300
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands150
Sovereign Base Areas Cyprus(11)3,260(11)3,230
Turks and Caicos Islands40

(10) Figures for the Falkland Islands exclude the Falklands Guardship.

(11) Approximate figure

(12) Figures for Gibraltar include the Territorial Army element of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

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IT Equipment

Norman Lamb: To ask the President of the Council how many Hewlett Packard Office Jet G85 printer/fax/ scanner/copiers have been supplied to parliamentary offices; what the total value of the contract is between the Government and Computacenter for the supply of Hewlett Packard Office Jet G85 printer/fax/scanner/copiers; how many replacement Hewlett Packard G85 printer/fax/ scanner/copiers have been supplied to parliamentary offices following technical faults; and how much money has been spent (a) carrying out repairs to and (b) replacing faulty Hewlett Packard Office Jet G85 printer/fax/scanner/ copiers which have been supplied to parliamentary offices. [50502]

Mr. Robin Cook: I understand that the Parliamentary Communications Directorate has supplied 613 G85 printers to Members since central provision of IT equipment began in July 2001. The cost to the House is commercially confidential. Because the figure paid is inclusive of installation and maintenance, repairs and replacements for these machines are not costed separately.

If a problem arises with these machines, our maintenance contractors will replace them on site rather than attempt a repair. A total of 109 replacements have been provided for 73 Members. It is likely that these 109 include some machines in which no fault was found.


Czech Republic

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Prime Minister whether his discussions with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic included discussions of (a) the sale of Gripen jets to the Czech Air Force and (b) the offset arrangements that formed part of the bid of Gripen International. [51487]

The Prime Minister: Yes, as my official spokesman has already made clear, I did make representations regarding the Czech decision to buy supersonic aircraft. As with previous Administrations, backing British business abroad is an important part of my job.

As had also been made clear, I visited Prague primarily to discuss issues such as EU enlargement and to continue our efforts to develop good relations with an important NATO ally.


National Stadium

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what conditions were attached to Sport England's grant to the national stadium project; and if she will make a statement. [51763]

Tessa Jowell: The lottery funding agreement between Sport England and Wembley National Stadium Ltd. (WNSL) and the Football Association sets out a number of conditions related to the development of Wembley as the site of the English National Stadium. WNSL is required to develop a national stadium for three sports:

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football, rugby league and athletics at Wembley. The lottery funding agreement also sets out a number of mandatory technical and operational requirements. The key requirements are:

WNSL are also required under the terms of the lease agreements with the English National Stadium Trust to assign 1 per cent. of turnover to the trust five years after opening, for distribution by the trust to community-based sports projects.


Departmental Policies (Bristol, East)

Jean Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Bristol, East constituency, the effects on Bristol of his Department's policies and actions (a) from 5 May 1994 to 2 May 1997, (b) from 2 May 1997 to 7 May 1998, and (c) since 7 May 1998. [35606]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in June 2001 from the former Department of Social Security and parts of the Department for Education and Employment. We are currently undertaking a fundamental overhaul of the welfare system, transforming it from a passive organisation paying out benefits to an active system that fights poverty, creates opportunity and helps people become self-sufficient and independent. This is making a significant contribution to the Government's overall objectives of:

Child benefit is now worth £15.75 a week for the eldest child and £10.55 a week for other children: nationally about 7 million families receive child benefit, and in Bristol, East 11,455 families benefit.

The number of people in work is at historically high levels of over 28.2 million. Nearly three quarters of working age people are in employment and in Bristol, East the proportion in employment currently stands at 76.3 per cent. Unemployment is at levels last seen in the early 1970s. Our New Deals have helped lone parents, the young unemployed, the long-term unemployed, disabled people, the over-50s and partners of the unemployed to

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move from benefit into work. Nationally well over 600,000 people have been helped into work by the New Deals and in Bristol, East over 1,300 have been helped into work.

Older people are disproportionately affected by fuel poverty. This winter (2001–02) we have made available a winter fuel payment of £200 for each eligible household to help with their heaviest fuel bill. We estimate that around 16,600 older people in Bristol, East will have received a payment this winter.

We want all pensioners to have a decent and secure income in retirement and to share fairly in the rising prosperity of the country. Our first priority has been to help the poorest pensioners.

From this April we will be spending an extra £6 billion a year in real terms on pensioners as a result of our policies. This includes £2.5 billion more on the poorest third of pensioners.

3,000 pensioner families in Bristol, East are receiving the minimum income guarantee which helps our poorest pensioners. Some 15,300 pensioners in Bristol, East will benefit from this year's increases in the basic state pension of £3 a week for single pensioners and £4.80 for couples. Those over 75, of whom we estimate there are about 7,300 in Bristol, East, may qualify for free TV licences.

Other reforms include the new pension credit in 2003 designed to ensure that pensioners benefit from their savings and the introduction of the state second pension from this April. Both of these initiatives will help provide greater security for tomorrow's pensioners. We have also announced that from October 2003 benefits currently reduced after a hospital stay of 6 weeks will not be reduced until 13 weeks. This will benefit both pensioners and people of working age.

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