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6 Feb 2006 : Column 826W—continued

Iraq

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the net additional cost of operations in Iraq expressed as a percentage of (a) the total defence budget and (b) total government spending was in each year since 2002–03. [48024]

John Reid: The costs of specific conflict prevention activities (including security and peace-building tasks) are voted for separately by Parliament, through either the HM Treasury Reserve or the Conflict Prevention
 
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Pools. As such, these funds do not form part of the Defence budget and cannot be expressed as a percentage of it.

The following table sets out the MOD budget, cost of operations in Iraq, and Government's Total Managed Expenditure for the three years 2002–03 to 2004–05.
Financial
year
MOD budget (£ billion)Cost of operations
in Iraq
(£ billion)
Government total managed expenditure (£ billion)Cost of operations in Iraq as percentage of Government TME
2002–0329.30.847417.9700.20
2003–0430.91.311455.2330.29
2004–0529.70.910487.3000.19

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mental health services are available to troops serving in Iraq. [48767]

Mr. Ingram: UK troops in Iraq are supported by a mental health team based at Shaibah Logistics base which is currently staffed by two community psychiatric nurses.

In addition, there is a programme of visits to theatre by a consultant psychiatrist. These are undertaken primarily for clinical governance purposes, but the visiting consultant will also provide advice on particular patients as required.

If further advice or treatment is required that cannot be provided in theatre, the patient will be aero medically evacuated out of Iraq for treatment in the UK or at UK defence community mental health centres in Cyprus, Germany and Gibraltar.

Iraq/Afghanistan

Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2005, Official Report, column 2342W, on Iraq/Afghanistan, what recent discussions he has had with the central criminal court of Iraq on the incident at Al Majarr Al Kabir on 24 June 2003. [46681]

Mr. Ingram: We are continuing to offer all possible support to help bring the perpetrators to justice. A British liaison officer, stationed in Baghdad, provides assistance to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq as required. Progress is being made, but as this is an ongoing criminal investigation and outside British jurisdiction, it would not be appropriate to comment further.

Nimrod Project

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the progress of the bid made in July 2005 by BAE Systems for the next phase of the Nimrod project; and when a decision on the bid is likely to be made. [46902]


 
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Mr. Ingram: The bid is under review by the MOD approving authorities. A production decision will be taken as soon as possible once we are in a position to take it.

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on the work force employed at Woodford of the delay in a decision on the bid for the next phase of the Nimrod project. [46903]

Mr. Ingram: While the long term future of the Woodford site is a matter for BAE Systems, the MOD has funded further low risk production work on the Nimrod programme until the middle of this year. This will preserve the viability of the MRA4 project and the expertise of the work force until a decision is taken on full production.

Nuclear Deterrent

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the basis was for the decision to choose the Atomic Weapons Establishment to provide the warheads for the UK's nuclear deterrent; and if he will make a statement. [47944]

John Reid: The Atomic Weapons Establishment is the sole repository for the UK's nuclear deterrent capability. The Government-owned facilities at Aldermaston and Burghfield were built for that purpose and remain a unique and essential national asset.

Pension Contributions

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of pension contributions incurred by (a) his Department, (b) each (i) non-departmental public body, (ii) executive agency and (iii) other public body for which he is responsible in (A) Scotland, (B) Wales, (C) each of the English regions and (D) Northern Ireland in each of the last three financial years; and what the planned expenditure is for 2005–06. [39972]

Mr. Touhig: Pension contributions are disclosed at Note 2 within the published Departmental Resource Accounts. Copies of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2002–03 to 2004–05 have been placed in the Library of the House. The table details the total pension contributions incurred by the Department, for all personnel (military and civilian) for the years requested.
Pension costs (£ million)
2002–031,357.7
2003–041,442.7
2004–051,486.8

The self accounting non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) fall outside the Departmental Boundary of the Departmental Resource Accounts. Pension contributions for employees of these organisations are disclosed as a Note to their published accounts. Copies of the published accounts have been placed in the Library.

The following table details the pension contribution incurred by NDPBs for the years requested.
 
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£
National Army MuseumRoyal Air Force MuseumFleet Air Arm MuseumRoyal Marines MuseumRoyal Navy MuseumRoyal Navy Submarine Museum
2002–03249,352203,03528,03438,37490,47629,529
2003–04245,069180,28629,53339,18290,04928,968
2004–05(13)(13)(13)(13)(13)(13)


(13) Not yet published.

The Defence Executive Agencies established as Trading Funds fall outside the Departmental Boundary of the Departmental Resource Accounts. Pension contributions for employees of these organisations are disclosed as a Note to their published accounts. Copies
 
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of the published accounts have been placed in the Library.

The following table details the pension contributions incurred by Defence Executive Agencies for the years requested.
£ million

UK Hydrographic OfficeMet OfficeDefence Science & Technology LaboratoryDefence Aviation Repair AgencyArmy Base Repair Organisation
2002–033.07.612.612.45.7
2003–043.08.013.511.36.0
2004–053.27.913.910.56.0

The Oil and Pipeline Agency is a Public Corporation sponsored by the Department, which falls outside the Departmental Boundary of the Departmental Resource Accounts. Pension contributions for employees of this organisation are disclosed as a Note to the published accounts. Copies of the published accounts have been placed in the Library.

The following table details the pension contribution incurred by the Oil & Pipeline Agency for the years requested.
Pension contribution (£)
2002–03118
2003–04128
2004–05152

For 2005–06, employers' contributions for the majority of civilians are payable to the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) at one of four rates in the ranges 16.2 to 24.6 per cent. of pensionable pay, based on salary bands. The Scheme Actuary reviews employer contributions every four years following a full scheme valuation; last carried out as at 31 March 2003. The contribution rates reflect the cost of benefits as they accrue (net of employee contributions), not the costs as they are actually incurred, and reflect past experience of the scheme. Contributions are also payable to Teachers' Superannuation Scheme, NHS Superannuation Scheme and Defined Benefit Schemes for the Royal Navy Museum (9 per cent.) and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum (12.5 per cent.).

For Service personnel, employers' contributions are made to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) based on rates determined by the Government Actuary. The applicable rates for 2005–06 are 33.8 per cent. of pensionable pay for officers and 18.2 per cent. for other ranks.

The Department does not collect information on a regional basis and any analysis could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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