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21 Feb 2005 : Column 109W—continued


Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent on postage by the Department and its predecessors in each year since 1997. [215017]

Jane Kennedy: DWP was formed in June 2001 from the Department of Social Security (DSS) and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment, including the Employment Service (ES).

The figures given below for postage include general postage, courier and carriage costs for DWP and its predecessors.

The available information is in the following table.
Postage £000

(34)The annual postage cost for 1997 to 2001 includes expenditure from the Department of Social Security, The Employment Service and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment.

21 Feb 2005 : Column 110W

Rehabilitation Support Allowance

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people claiming the new Rehabilitation Support Allowance each year whose benefits will be reduced on account of a refusal to attend work-focused interviews or undertake the required preparation for work. [215549]

Jane Kennedy: No such estimate has been made.

Unemployment (Ilford, North)

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were in (a) youth unemployment and (b) long-term unemployment in Ilford, North on 31 December (i) 1997 and (ii) 2004. [214949]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl to Ms Linda Perham, dated 16 February 2005:

Table 1: Unemployed people resident in Ilford, North parliamentary constituency 12 months ending February

Youth (aged 16–24)(35)Long-term unemployed

(35)Defined as one year or more.
(36)Estimates not shown as they are potentially disclosive.
These estimates are based on very small sample sizes and are subject to a high degree of sampling variability.
ONS Labour Force Survey

Table 2: JSA claimants resident in the Ilford, North parliamentary constituency

Annual averages
(37)Youth claimants
(aged 18–24)
(37)Claimants over 12 months

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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list his Department's spending on (a) new aircraft and (b) up-grades to aircraft since 1997; and how much of the money was spent in (i) Lancashire and (ii) the North West. [216231]

Mr. Ingram: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Aircraft Carriers

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to sign contracts placing orders for the two CVFs. [215766]

Mr. Ingram: Discussions continue on the contracting arrangements for the Demonstration and Manufacture of the Future Aircraft Carriers (CVF). These will be confirmed following the main investment decision, which we currently anticipate will take place mid-late 2005.

Armed Forces Housing

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to apply the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Decent Homes Standard to housing provided for members of the armed forces. [214539]

Mr. Caplin: The standard for condition is used by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is higher than the criteria defined within the Decent Homes Standard. The application of the Decent Homes Standard to Service Families Accommodation would, therefore, result in the application of a less comprehensive standard than is currently the case.

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many homes are provided in the UK for members of the armed forces, broken down by location at which such homes are provided; and when the last time was that properties in each location were (a) surveyed and (b) inspected. [214550]

Mr. Caplin: As at the end of January 2005, approximately 49,700 properties were provided for the families of armed forces personnel, located at over 600 sites across mainland United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales).

Management of service families accommodation (SFA) is carried out by Defence Estates (DE). The housing stock is currently spread across nine regional offices, as set out in the following table. Included in the overall figures are about 1,000 substitute SFA properties, which although not managed by DE, are supplied under contract, where appropriate SFA cannot be provided from its own resources.

Given the number of sites involved, the numbers of houses have been grouped on a regional basis.
21 Feb 2005 : Column 112W

RegionTotal SFA provided(37)
Anglia (covering Norfolk and Suffolk areas)5,750
Central (covering Bucks, Oxon, and parts of Wiltshire)5,800
London (covering locations within the M25)3,600
North (covering counties to the east )7,150
South east (covering Portsmouth and Kent areas)4,500
South (covering parts of Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire and
South west (covering Somerset, Cornwall and parts of
West (covering Wales and the western counties)4,200

(37)As at end January 2005

The majority of the housing stock was surveyed as a single exercise in the period 1997–98 to achieve a database of the condition of the stock, and provide the necessary information for investment decisions concerning an ongoing upgrade programme. Following that major exercise, properties are subject to further survey as required, for example when a package of properties is identified for upgrading. To set out the details for each individual location would incur disproportionate effort.

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by his Department on housing for members of the armed forces in (a) the UK and (b) abroad, broken down by (i) revenue and (ii)capital for each year since 1992 (A) in nominal terms and (B) at 2003–04 prices; and what the projected spending is for the next three years. [214554]

Mr. Caplin: Details of Ministry of Defence's housing expenditure are set out in the published accounts for the former Defence Housing Executive for 2001–02 to 2003–04 and these are available in the Library of the House.

The information sought for years prior to 2001–02 is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Projected spending for the next three years is still under consideration.

I will write to the hon. Member with regard to the requested information on overseas housing.

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