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Armed Forces: Housing

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many single service personnel in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force were living in communal accommodation in each year since 1997. [135416]

Derek Twigg: The number of service personnel living in multi-occupant rooms within single living accommodation is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Life Insurance

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of the service personnel life insurance programme will be for 2007-08 and subsequent planned years; and under which budget this cost falls. [131093]

Mr. Ingram: The projected cost of the Service Life Insurance (SLI) project for 2007-08 is £90,000. This sum covers salaries (until the project team disbands on 30 June 2007), consultancy and ‘bedding in’ costs following SLI launch in May 2007.

SLI attracts no cost in subsequent years as it is planned to be at nil cost. All SLI costs fall to the centre top level budget.

Armed Forces: Pay

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Army personnel were mispaid on the first pay run by the Army Joint Personnel Administration; and if he will make a statement. [136155]

Derek Twigg: The April payroll has been completed successfully on time and the vast majority of 110,104 Army regulars and 17,059 TA personnel have received their basic pay accurately. 8,238 personnel have been affected by minor discrepancies in relation to deduction charges and allowances, of which some 4,000 stem from a single error resulting in an overpayment of £1.43 per person. 90 per cent. of these will be corrected in the May pay run with the remainder being corrected in June.

Armed Forces: South Africa

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 22 March 2007, Official Report, column 1033W, on the Armed Forces: South Africa, what steps he is taking to estimate the number of personnel serving in the British Army who have dual British and South African citizenship. [131706]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 16 April 2007]: British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens can apply to join the Army, but there is no requirement for personnel with dual nationality to declare this on their Record of Service (ROS). As such, the only way to accurately determine this information, would require asking each and every British and South African national, and would incur disproportionate cost.


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However, a check of the ROS has shown that 150 personnel in the Army have declared dual British/South African nationality.

Army: Fairtrade

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the Fairtrade products purchased for the office of the (a) Chief of the General Staff and (b) Adjutant General in the last 12 months. [135911]

Derek Twigg: No separate records are kept covering the purchase of Fairtrade items. The information is not therefore available.

Departments: BAE Systems

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 15 March 2007, Official Report, column 458W, on BAE Systems, whether Mr. Julian Scopes was issued a security pass before December 2005. [132895]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 20 April 2007]: Mr. Scopes was photographed for a Main Building pass on 16 October 2004 and a contractor’s pass (valid for a year) was first issued to him at that time. My response of 15 March 2007, Official Report, column 458W, gave details of the most recent pass (which expired in December 2006). I apologise for any misunderstanding this may have caused.

Departments: India

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Ministers in his Department have visited India in the last 12 months; on how many occasions each Minister visited India; and what the length was of each visit. [135544]

Derek Twigg: None.

Departments: Manpower

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2007, Official Report, column 1462W, on departments: manpower, how many of the civilian personnel referred to in the answer are (a) Departmental personnel and (b) private contractors. [136152]

Derek Twigg: The civilian personnel numbers relate to staff filling civil service posts.

Departments: Paper

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by his Department was from recycled sources in each of the last three years. [134048]

Derek Twigg: The percentage of paper used for photocopying and printed publications from recycled sources in the last three years is as follows:


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In MOD Main Building, 100 per cent. of the paper used for photocopying comes from recycled sources, a practice which started in March 2006. For the Department as a whole, the figures for the last three years are as follows; 2.1 per cent. for 2004-05; 1.8 per cent. for 2005-06; 1.9 per cent. for 2006-07. As a Department, it is planned that as of October 2007, 100 per cent. of paper used for photocopying will be from recycled sources.

In 2006-07, the percentage of paper used for printed publications coming from recycled sources was 3.1 per cent. This figure is based on two thirds of MOD printed publications, the remaining one third covers smaller independent contracts for which data are unobtainable.

Data for the previous two years are unavailable from the supplier. As of April 2007, our new suppliers are required to print on paper containing a minimum of 50 per cent. recycled fibres.

As these targets are being put in place this year, our current data will not reflect this step change in paper procurement.

Departments: Telephone Services

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many telephone helplines are sponsored by his Department with the prefix (a) 0870 and (b) 0845; and whether alternative geographic numbers are available in each case. [136257]

Derek Twigg: The use of 0800, 0845 or 0870 numbers in the Department and its Agencies is determined at local level in accordance with individual business requirements and ordered directly from the supplier. Records of these numbers are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

European Fighter Aircraft

Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much was saved by the decision taken in 2001 not to equip Typhoon aircraft with Mauser 27 mm cannon; [135062]

(2) what the cost has been of retrofitting Typhoon aircraft with cannon. [135063]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer s 30 April 2007]: All RAF Typhoon aircraft have been fitted with a cannon. As stated within the Major Project Report 2006, the decision to leave the Typhoon cannon non-operational was assessed to save £32 million in programme costs.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest assessment is of the merits of fitting a cannon to (a) Typhoon and (b) other future combat aircraft. [134727]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 1 May 2007]: The activation of the cannon on Typhoon, and its fitting to future combat aircraft, would provide an additional
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means of delivering air-to-surface low collateral damage effect in support of ground forces. This would need to be weighed against the through life costs of such a capability, including the implications for airframe life.

Gap Year Commission

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Gap Year Commission was started; and how many people passed though it in each year since it started. [136041]

Derek Twigg: Gap Year Commissions were introduced in 2000, prior to this, personnel were granted a Short Service Limited Commission.

Intake by financial year, of untrained Regular Army Officers to Gap Year Commission is shown in the following table.

Financial year Number

2000-01

60

2001-02

70

2002-03

80

2003-04

70

2004-05

30

2005-06

40

2006-07(1)

50

(1) 1 April 2006 to 28 February 2007.

Iraq: Peace Keeping Operations

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are in place for the medical welfare of reserve forces who have served in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan on their return; and in what ways such arrangements differ to those in place for regular servicemen and women. [136031]

Derek Twigg: Any mobilised serviceman or woman injured when on operational deployment is treated the same, and will receive exactly the same medical treatment and support, whether they are regular or reserve. If a medical officer in-theatre assesses that a member of the reserve forces requires treatment or rehabilitation back in the UK, they will be treated in exactly the same way as regular personnel. This may include treatment and rehabilitation at a military Regional Rehabilitation Unit or the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Surrey, or—if the problem is related to their mental health—admission to the Priory Group or treatment at a military Department of Community Mental Health.

When reserve personnel are demobilised, they are given a medical assessment. During this process, if it is identified that they are in need of an operation they may be referred to NHS hospitals housing Ministry of Defence Hospital Units or the Royal College of Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, where they will be treated within military time frames which can in some cases offer faster access to treatment. Reserve personnel will receive treatment for injuries sustained on operation until they are
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deemed to have reached a steady state of fitness. They are then demobilised, and taken through a transition from military to NHS care, if they have continuing health care needs.

The patient may express a preference for treatment in a hospital nearer to their home, which may be a non-MDHU hospital, and some reservists opt for this route. In accordance with NHS protocols, if they are referred on to a non-MDHU hospital, then access to treatment is according to clinical priority.

Once demobilised it is a long established tradition that reserve forces’ medical welfare becomes the responsibility of their local NHS primary care trust and the majority of Veterans’ physical and mental health needs are met by these provisions. However, the MOD recognises that it has an expertise to offer in certain specific circumstances, and in November 2006 launched a new initiative—the Reserves Mental Health Programme. This is open to personnel who have been demobilised since January 2003 following overseas operational deployment as a reservist and who have concerns that their mental health has suffered primarily as a result of their operational service leading up to their demobilisation.

They will be invited to attend the Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre at Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, where members of the Defence Medical Services will carry out an assessment of their mental health. If it is considered that they are eligible for out-patient treatment by the Defence Medical Services, this will be provided at one of the military Departments of Community Mental Health, at the most convenient site to meet the individual’s circumstances whenever possible. More details of the programme are available at:

Finally, the Government fund courses of care at Combat Stress facilities for both regulars and reservists whose condition is due to service and for whom this is an appropriate course of treatment.

Lynx Helicopters

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the acquisition costs are of the Lynx Mk 8 aircraft; and what the average total operating cost is per hour. [134199]

Mr. Ingram: The current Lynx Mk8 aircraft were initially procured as Mk 2 and Mk3 aircraft between 1979 and 1988 and have subsequently been extensively modified, enhanced and converted to the Mk8 standard. The average Net Book Value on 16 January 2007 for these aircraft was £11.5 million.

The total operating cost per flying hour for Lynx Mk 8 is approximately £16,000. This cost includes both fixed and marginal costs incurred in using the aircraft, comprising servicing costs, fuel costs, crew capitation and training costs, support costs and charges for capital and depreciation.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Minister for Veterans expects to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West
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Worcestershire of 22 December 2007, (ref: D/US of S/DT MC00143/2007). [134605]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 27 April 2007]: Following my interim reply of 22 February, I sent a final response to the hon. Member on 30 April.

Permanent Joint Headquarters

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the permanent joint headquarters is integrated with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development. [128482]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 19 March 2007]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) engages with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DfID) on operational issues through a number of tri-departmental strategic and working groups from ministerial level downwards. Desk level officials maintain close and regular contacts across departments. Policy and Commitments staff in MOD head office lead on cross-governmental engagement. Permanent joint headquarters (PJHQ) staff are consulted and contribute on operational and tactical matters to provide an integrated HMG response.

At the tactical level, as part of the UK’s comprehensive approach to our operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans, personnel in theatre engage regularly with their deployed counterparts in the FCO and DfID. PJHQ staff monitor and advise as necessary on these interactions.

The MOD has also developed a formal agreement with DfID on the provision of military assistance to humanitarian relief operations and is in the process of agreeing service levels with the FCO on the provision of military assistance to evacuation operations.

War Pensions

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many war pensions were awarded under the Naval, Military and Air Forces, Etc, (Disablement and Death) Service Pension Order in each year between 2001-02 and 2004-05. [134537]

Derek Twigg: The number of war pensions awarded under the Naval, Military and Air Forces, Etc, (Disablement and Death) Service Pension Order is by year shown in the following table.

War pensions
Number

2001-02

5,945

2002-03

5,075

2003-04

4,530

2004-05

4,230

Note:
Data have been rounded to the nearest five.

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