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24 Jan 2007 : Column 1775W—continued

Boarding School Allowances

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why the information on boarding school allowances paid to members of the armed forces, broken down by rank, which could not be made available to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South due to disproportionate cost, as referred to in the answer of 6 November 2006, Official Report, columns 801-2W, on boarding school allowance, could be supplied in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 of 1 September 2005, reference 090717-002; and if he will make a statement. [109480]

Derek Twigg: The answer of 6 November 2006, Official Report, columns 801-2W, asked for information covering the last five years. The only year that the information had been held separated into officers and other ranks was 2005-06 and the same information for the previous years could be provided only at a disproportionate cost due to work being undertaken to transit from the three legacy systems to JPA—joint personnel administration system.

Information for 2005-06

Number of service children currently being educated utilising the MOD’s Boarding School Allowance Scheme:

As at the spring term 2005, Service Education Allowances were being paid for 7,914 children.

The breakdown of service claimants is as follows:

Number

Royal Navy

1,377

Royal Air Force

2,257

Army

4,280


The number of children in receipt of Education Allowances from commissioned officer’s families:

Number

Royal Navy

920

Royal Air Force

1,286

Army

2,675


The number of children in receipt of Education Allowances from all ratings, non-commissioned officer’s (NCO) and other ranks families:


24 Jan 2007 : Column 1776W
Number

Royal Navy

457

Royal Air Force

971

Army

1,605


Defence Training Review

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what risks he expects to be transferred to the private sector as part of the Defence Training Review. [116125]

Derek Twigg: As with other PFI projects, the Defence Training Review (DTR) Contractor will take responsibility for the standard risks associated with a PFI project such as performance and cost risks including: design; construction and whole-life maintenance; non-discriminatory change in the law; town and country planning; commissioning and certification; and loss or damage to assets. In addition and by virtue of the training-specific nature of the DTR programme, risks relating to training will also be transferred. For example the contractor will be paid on the basis of student throughput and against pre-agreed target pass rates for courses.

EU and NATO Missions

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops were engaged in (a) European Security and Defence Policy and (b) NATO missions in each year between 2003 and 2006; and how many are expected to be so engaged in 2007. [117241]

Des Browne: The table shows the number of troops engaged in European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and NATO missions in each year between 2003 and 2006.

The figures for 2007 are given as at 14 January 2007, but are subject to future Periodic Mission Review. As military operations remain fluid and we are unable to predict if there will be additional NATO or ESDP missions, it is not possible to state how many troops are expected to be engaged on such missions in 2007.

NATO( 1) ESDP( 2)

2003

4,305

84

2004

3,281

950

2005

2,720

950

2006

4,281

654

2007(3)

6,360

654

(1) Derived from averaging weekly deployed totals over the year. NATO figures include Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.
(2) Maximum deployed during year.
(3) The spot figures given as at 14 January 2007 are subject to future Periodic Mission Review.

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of staff in the Ministry of Defence work on EU defence co-operation. [117243]

Des Browne: Within the MOD, eight people work exclusively on European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), although these dedicated staff draw on the support of other personnel across the MOD who devote varying proportions of their time to particular
24 Jan 2007 : Column 1777W
aspects of ESDP as required. Officers in their management chain also devote a portion of their time to this issue.

Additionally the UK Military Representation to the EU in Brussels comprises nine MOD staff. Two MOD staff are also seconded to the UK diplomatic representation to the EU to work on ESDP.

IT Projects

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many information technology projects within the responsibility of his Department, its agencies and their predecessors have been cancelled since 1997; what the total cost was of each project at cancellation; and if he will make a statement. [105480]

Derek Twigg: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Japanese Internment

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many claims for compensation by British civilians interned by the Japanese have been paid under the 20 year attachment to the UK rule; how many remain to be paid; why he introduced the rule; and if he will make a statement. [117027]

Derek Twigg: It is a requirement of the Government’s ex-gratia payment scheme for former far east prisoners of war and civilian internees that claimants be able to demonstrate a close link with the UK. This was initially based on normal residence in the UK before the war. In 2001, eligibility was extended to include the birth link criterion, which it was accepted in 2006 was unlawful. The 20-year residence criterion was introduced earlier in 2006 to extend eligibility to former internees who could demonstrate that they had established a close link to the UK after the war, on the basis of residence.

As at December, the Veterans Agency had written to 916 claimants whom they identified as being potential beneficiaries under the 20-year residency criterion. 513 responses had been received and 129 awards made. In 301 cases, the claimant had advised that they were not eligible. 11 cases had been rejected for reasons other than residency (for example the claimant was not British at the time of internment). Nine cases were on hold pending a final decision and 45 others were being processed.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made with his proposal to establish a hardship fund for British civilian prisoners of the Japanese who could not be paid compensation under the 20 year rule; how many claimants fall into this category; and what investigations are being made into their cases. [117028]

Derek Twigg: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 8 January 2007, Official Report, columns 89-90W.


24 Jan 2007 : Column 1778W

Protective Clothing

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many front-line personnel have been issued with flame retardant camouflage clothing. [107188]

Mr. Ingram: None. The standard issue tri-service uniform, Combat Soldier 95 (CS95), and its desert equivalent have not been designed with flame retardant properties as operational analysis has shown that the soldier on the battlefield faces a minimal risk from burn injuries.

Specialist fire retardant clothing is issued to personnel in specific roles where there is a known fire risk (e.g. armoured vehicle crews).

Reserves

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) required and (b) actual strength of the (i) Territorial Army, (ii) Royal Naval Reserve, (iii) Royal Marines Reserve and (iv) Royal Auxiliary Air Force.[113050]

Derek Twigg: The available requirement and strength data are given as follows.

1997( 1) 2006( 2)
Requirement Strength( 3) Requirement Strength( 3)

Territorial Army(4)

59,000

56,200

42,000

35,940

Royal Naval Reserve(5)

n/a

2,670

2,900

2,180

Royal Marines Reserve(5)

n/a

890

990

710

Royal Auxiliary Air Force(6)

2,250

1,740

2,220

(7)1,460

n/a = not available
(1) Royal Auxiliary Air Force data are at 1 January 1999. All others at 1 April 1997.
(2) Territorial Army (TA) data are at 1 November 2006. Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) data and Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) data are at 1 October 2006. Royal Auxiliary Air Force Requirement data are at 1 April 2006. Royal Auxiliary Air Force Strength data are at 1 October 2006.
(3) Strength figures are for both trained and untrained personnel.
(4) The 1997 figures exclude Mobilised TA personnel as the reserve type cannot be easily identified. There were a total of 990 Mobilised Personnel (Volunteer and Regular Reserve) at 1 April 1997. The 2006 figures include 1,060 Mobilised TA Personnel. All TA figures include Officer Training Corps (OTC) and exclude Non Regular Permanent Staff (NRPS) and Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS). At 1 November 2006 there were 4,910 capbadged OTC personnel.
(5) RNR and RMR strength figures exclude FTRS.
(6) The Royal Auxiliary Air Force Requirement includes FTRS Home Commitment (HC) and Limited Commitment (LC); the Strength includes FTRS (HC), (LC) and Full Commitment (FC) (for which there is no separate requirement).
(7 )Provisional. Due to the introduction of a new personnel administration system for RAF, all RAF data from 1 May 20O6 are provisional and subject to review.

Separation Allowances

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will reply to question 98165, tabled by the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes, on the time taken to reply to question 94388 tabled by the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes, on separation allowances, for named day answer on 16 October 2006. [112803]

Des Browne [holding answer 8 January 2007]: I regret that due to an administrative oversight I was unable to answer these questions before the House prorogued on 8 November 2006.


24 Jan 2007 : Column 1779W

Constitutional Affairs

Executive Agencies

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which of the executive agencies of her Department have regional offices outside London. [116727]

Vera Baird: Both Her Majesty’s Courts Service and the Tribunals Service have regional offices outside London. The Public Guardianship Office does not have a regional office outside London.

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which executive agencies are the responsibility of her Department; what the function is of each agency; and what the budget was of each agency in the most recent year for which figures are available. [116775]

Vera Baird: The Department for Constitutional Affairs is responsible for three executive agencies: Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS), the Tribunals Service and the Public Guardianship Office (PGO). Details of the functions and budgets of HMCS and the PGO can be found in their annual reports, copies of which are in the Library and which are also on-line at:

and

respectively. The Tribunals Service was created as an executive agency in April 2006 and has not yet, therefore, produced an annual report. Its function is to provide support to the judiciary and tribunal users to ensure the impartial and efficient operation of the tribunals it administers. In the 2006-07 Winter Supplementary the Tribunals Service had a resource Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL) of £270,987,000 and a Capital DEL of £3,903,000.

Legal Aid

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact on the poorest people requiring legal assistance of the recommendations on changes of legal aid fees made by the Carter Review of legal aid procurement. [110870]

Vera Baird: The Government’s proposals, set out in “Legal Aid Reform: the Way Ahead”, will ensure that legal aid continues to be available for those people who require legal assistance. The reforms will ensure that legal aid spending can be placed on a sustainable footing and spending rebalanced between civil, family and criminal legal aid. This will be of particular benefit to the vulnerable and those facing social exclusion.

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what representations her Department has received since November 2006 on the level of fees set for civil legal aid solicitors arising from the Carter Review of legal aid procurement; what meetings have been held with the
24 Jan 2007 : Column 1780W
Law Society on the Carter Review recommendations; what the outcome was of such meetings; and if she will make a statement. [110871]

Vera Baird: As at 19 January 2007, the Department had received 80 representations since November 2006 on civil and family legal aid solicitors’ fees. There have been extensive discussions with the Law Society and other key stakeholders. These are being taken into account in further work by the Department and the Legal Services Commission.


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