Previous Section Index Home Page

23 Apr 2007 : Column 885W—continued


Armed Forces: Deployment

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 201W, on Armed Forces: deployment, if he will place a copy of the review documents in the Library. [131724]

Mr. Ingram: In my answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 201W, I explained that the examination of administrative procedures for the collection and dissemination of data, and the improvements made to this, did not take the form of a formal review. As such there are no review documents available to be placed in the Library of the House.

Armed Forces: Life Insurance

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what subsidy his Department provides to assist paying the premium for life insurance for the most dangerous specialist roles in the armed forces. [131082]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 16 April 2007]: The Ministry of Defence's Service Risks Insurance Premiums Refunds (SRIPs) scheme contributes towards the extra life insurance premiums incurred by personnel in certain high risk trades, such as aircrew, and those serving on operations both overseas and within the UK. The compensation available is 90 per cent. of the extra premium up to a total sum assured. The latter is increased every year in line with Service pay and is currently £157,000.

Chemical Weapons: Research

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department retains stocks of chemical weapon agents for prophylactic research purposes. [131200]

Mr. Ingram: Small stocks of toxic chemical agents are held for research, medical and protective purposes not prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention. Their storage is declared and subject to regular inspection.

23 Apr 2007 : Column 886W

Defence Equipment

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) average and (b) total cost to his Department was of each type of (i) personal clothing, (ii) personal role radio, (iii) personal armour and (iv) personal load carrying equipment used by the armed forces as standard issue equipment in each year since 1995; from which company each type of each piece of equipment was purchased in each year; and if he will make a statement. [132160]

Mr. Ingram: Since 1995, there have been significant improvements in each of these areas. We have introduced nearly 40 items of new and improved personal clothing, and we have developed a range of new body armour for troops on operations, which has transformed the level of protection available to our personnel.

The specific information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. I am however able to provide the following details:

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by his Department on buying, operating and supporting (a) all commercial software products and (b) software products produced by Microsoft in each of the last three years. [112599]

Mr. Ingram: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Iraq: Hospitals

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to assist hospitals in Iraq to secure access to adequate equipment and medications. [131979]

Hilary Benn: I have been asked to reply.

DFID has given most of its assistance to the Iraqi health sector through financial contributions to international organisations that have particular expertise in health. For example, we have provided £70 million to the UN and World Bank trust funds for Iraq. At present, the trust funds are spending over
23 Apr 2007 : Column 887W
$120 million to repair hospitals and train staff. There has been progress since 2003, with more than 1,000 health care facilities rehabilitated or equipped, and more than 6,000 health care workers trained.

We have recently contributed £7 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support protection and emergency assistance activities in Iraq. This includes provision of urgently needed medical supplies, such as war wounded kits to hospitals dealing with mass casualties, improving health facilities, including physical rehabilitation and training for staff, restoring and upgrading water and sanitation infrastructure and organising training for health professions and engineers.

Much of our work aims to support the Iraqi Government spend its considerable oil wealth more effectively for the benefit of the Iraqi people. We are building the capacity of central Government institutions to help ensure that finances are well managed and get to provincial authorities who can then buy drugs, fund hospitals and deliver services.

Iraq: Peace-Keeping Operations

Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether a date has been set for replacing all soft-top Land Rovers with Mastiff vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan. [132096]

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans he has to replace Snatch Land Rovers; what requirements he has specified for any replacement; and what the timescale is for the replacement process; [131981]

(2) what plans he has to replace Snatch Land Rovers; what requirements he has specified for a replacement vehicle; and what the timescale is for the replacement process. [130250]

Des Browne: I refer my hon. Friends to the answer I gave on 29 January 2007, Official Report, column 29W, to the hon. Member for Leominster (Bill Wiggin) and to my written ministerial statement on 24 July 2006, Official Report, columns 74-76WS.

Parachute Regiment: Training

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on provision for Parachute Regiment training jumps to take place in the period up to 2012; and what the basis of the policy is. [129540]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 22 January 2007, Official Report, column 1555W, to the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr. Hollobone). Policy on Parachute Regiment training jumps will continue to be based on current practice. Existing parachute training procedures will continue, and will meet our ongoing requirements from within available resources.

In terms of parachute training facilities and future resources I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 January 2007, Official Report, column 1944W, to the hon. Member for Leominster (Bill Wiggin).

23 Apr 2007 : Column 888W

Northern Ireland

A12: Belfast

Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many vehicles were damaged by missiles thrown at vehicles on the A12 Belfast Westlink in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. [132239]

Paul Goggins: The PSNI has provided the following information relating to vehicles which were damaged by missiles on the A12 Belfast Westlink.

2006 2007( 1)

Criminal damage (vehicle)



Attacks on buses



Attacks on emergency services vehicles



Vehicles damaged by youths causing annoyance(2)



Vehicles damaged in disturbances (minor)(3)



(1) 1 January 2007 to 31 March 2007. (2 )This relates to a situation where an initial report of youths having damaged vehicles was made but which was not confirmed, i.e. the person reporting does not stop at the scene and does not make any further contact with police to confirm that damage has been caused. Where confirmation is available, the incident is listed as criminal damage. (3 )The above is similar to reports of vehicles damaged by youths causing annoyance, however it is felt that the incidents involved adult participation.

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland were treated for alcohol-only misuse in the last 12 months. [133233]

Paul Goggins: This information is not available in the form requested.

However, information relating to alcohol-only misuse is available from the first ever Census of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services conducted in March 2005 by The Department of Health, Social Services, and Public Safety (DHSSPS). It should be noted that a census represents a ‘snap-shot’ of a particular point in time and so cannot be used to derive numbers in treatment over the course of a year.

On 1 March 2005 there were 3,074 individuals receiving treatment in Northern Ireland for alcohol-only misuse in both statutory and non-statutory services.


Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the survival rate for each type of cancer was in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years; and what steps he is taking to improve the cancer survival rate. [133126]

Paul Goggins: On 9 November 2006 my Department published a cancer control programme for Northern Ireland. This plan sets out recommendations and actions for the further strengthening of cancer services
23 Apr 2007 : Column 889W
and the setting of standards for the delivery of those services. I am confident that this programme of work has the potential to secure further improvements in cancer survival rates in Northern Ireland. In addition, the Northern Ireland Cancer Network has established a number of regional groups which review existing standards and guidelines for the treatment of specific cancers. These groups are currently developing regionally agreed standards of care and these too will contribute strongly to the improvement in cancer survival we all wish to see.

The latest five-year relative survival rates for major cancers are those for patients diagnosed in 1996-99. These are set out in the following table:

23 Apr 2007 : Column 890W
Cancer site Sex Five-year relative survival 95 per cent. confidence interval




(8.9, 17.2)



(8.4, 18.6)




(13.3, 20.2)



(12.6, 20.9)




(51.9, 59.5)



(50.5, 57.4)




(47.1, 57.1)



(45.3, 56.5)




(8.0, 11.0)



(8.4, 12.2)




(82.4, 93.8)



(91.7, 98.3)




(79.8, 83.1)




(65.9, 77.0)




(69.5, 79.9)




(40.8, 49.3)




(59.4, 66.3)




(47.6, 61.1)



(42.3, 56.3)




(62.3, 73.6)



(44.2, 59.0)




(8.4, 17.8)



(12.9, 25.9)

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma



(44.3, 55.1)



(45.3, 56.2)




(22.2, 34.8)



(24.4, 38.6)

1. The 95 per cent. confidence interval is the range of values within which there is a 95 per cent. probability of finding the true value for the survival rate.
2. Relative survival is the ratio of the observed survival divided by the survival that the patients would have experienced if they had the same probability of dying as the general population having the same age.
3. Figures supplied by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry.

Next Section Index Home Page