Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the head of Southern Command ISAF Forces in Afghanistan has requested (a) Warrior and (b) any form of mechanised infantry to be brought into Helmand Province. 
Mr. Ingram: Should Commander RC(South) judge that he requires additional forces, he can request them through his NATO chain of command. Should such a request be endorsed by the NATO military staffs, it is added to the NATO Combined Joint Statement of Requirement for the mission and NATO member states are then invited to meet those requirements. No such requirement for mechanised infantry in Helmand Province has been promulgated, but force levels are kept under review.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in which service, and at what rank, is the single responsible officer for the movement of British Service and Government personnel to and from operational theatres. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 27 November 2006]: The Chief of Joint Operations (CJO) is responsible for the command and control of the Coupling Bridge, across which British Service and some Government personnel travel between the home base (largely the UK and Germany) and the operational theatres. CJO is selected from each of the three services in rotation, and holds the rank of lieutenant-general, vice-admiral or air marshal.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Gurkhas retired after 15 years service in the last five years; what the average pension paid to Gurkhas was in each year; and if he will make a statement. 
|Number of soldiers( 1)
|(1) Rounded to nearest 10.
The length of service for each soldier is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Under their terms of engagement, soldiers of the rank of corporal and below may serve in the Brigade of Gurkhas for up to a maximum of 15 years, which earns them an immediate pension under the Gurkha Pension Scheme. 99 per cent. of Gurkhas serve through to the 15-year point.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) recruitment target and (b) recruitment level achieved was for each pinch point trade for the (i) Army, (ii) Navy and (iii) RAF in the last 12 months. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of barriers to funding arising from the Children and Young Peoples Strategy being applied to projects on the ground. 
Maria Eagle: From the launch of the £102.3 million children and young peoples funding package in March 2006, we have closely monitored both how the package has been allocated and the rate of spend. Monitoring will continue in the second year of the fund through to March 2008 to ensure that the package total is spent in full.
Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what total amount of Invest Northern Ireland financial assistance was given to Trivirix before its closure in 2005; and whether Invest Northern Ireland has conducted an inquiry into the closure. 
Invest Northern Ireland did not judge it necessary to carry out an inquiry following the closure as Invest NI had maintained regular contact with Trivirix throughout the period preceding the administration.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the proposed cap on domestic rates announced at the St. Andrews summit will be a cap on (a) yearly percentage increases in the equivalent tax rate and (b) the maximum bill that can be levied; and from what budget it will be funded. 
Mr. Hanson: The proposed cap on domestic rates announced at the St Andrews summit will be given effect by introducing a maximum rateable (capital) value. In the first year it will be treated as a loss of revenue and in subsequent years the cost will be redistributed amongst other ratepayers, because the additional value will be disregarded.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Government plans to continue to increase the council and the regional rate of domestic rates by six per cent. prior to the restoration of devolved Government in future financial years after 2007-08. 
Mr. Hanson: The Government are working to restore devolved Government to Northern Ireland by the end of March 2007. Regardless of whether devolution occurs, increases in the regional rate in future years will be a matter for the normal budget process, which has always been the case. In addition individual councils will strike district rates according to their own budget processes.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the occasions since he has held his present office when he has used (a) rail services, (b) the London Underground, (c) tram or light railway services and (d) buses in connection with his ministerial duties. 
Mr. Hain: All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House. Security considerations are an important factor.
Since being appointed to the posts of Secretary of State for Wales and for Northern Ireland in May 2005, I have travelled on 12 occasions by train in connection with my role as Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much and what percentage of total unpaid parking fines in Northern Ireland attributable to foreign registered vehicles relate to vehicles registered in the Republic of Ireland. 
Paul Goggins: The Police Service Northern Ireland advised that not keep records on foreign registered vehicles and it does therefore unable to provide the percentage of the total unpaid parking fines attributable to foreign registered vehicles, including vehicles registered in the Republic of Ireland.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was owed by owners of foreign-registered vehicles in unpaid parking fines in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years.