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12 Jun 2007 : Column 934W—continued

Armed Forces: Pay

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Army personnel were mispaid in the May pay run for the Army by Joint Personnel Administration; and if he will make a statement. [139858]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 4 June 2007]: 169 Army personnel were mispaid during May. All of these cases related to errors in the payment of allowances and will be corrected in the June pay run.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what amount the operational allowance will be increased for fiscal year 2007-08 to take account of the rate of inflation. [141616]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 11 June 2007]: For the financial year 2007-08, the operational allowance for Iraq and Afghanistan will increase by 3.6 per cent. and this will be backdated to 1 April 2007. The allowance is based on the tax and national insurance paid by a
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private soldier, lower band pay range, level 5, on his/her income and longer separation allowance, while deployed on operations. Therefore, backdated to 1 April 2007, the daily rate of operational allowance will increase from £12.31 to £12.75. Consequently during a six month tour of duty it will increase from £2,240 to £2,320. However, due to the improved security situation in the Balkans, personnel serving in this area will no longer qualify for the operational allowance from 1 September 2007.

Armed Forces: Pensions

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) awarding retrospectively armed service pensions to all those armed service personnel who do not receive pensions and (b) providing pensions on retirement to those service personnel who are currently not likely to be entitled to a pension. [138022]

Derek Twigg: No specific estimate has been produced regarding the cost of backdating armed forces preserved pensions before 1975. However, in view of the fact that this issue is common to other public service schemes not just the armed forces, the cost, whether to the armed forces or more widely, would be considerable and could run into billions of pounds.

The only individuals currently serving who will not be entitled to a pension are those who do not serve the two years necessary to qualify for an armed forces pension. However, they may transfer their notional benefits out of the armed forces pension scheme into another public sector scheme.

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2007, Official Report, column 1289W, on the armed forces: pensions, how much it would cost to obtain the information. [141921]

Derek Twigg: There are currently in excess of 350,000 pensions in payment and, although the sums being paid can be accessed, it is not possible to tell whether the amount is in respect of a “full career pension” or a lesser period. The cost of scrutinising each file to check the length of each individual's reckonable service would be in excess of £900,000.

Armed Forces: Personal Records

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department records on (a) Service personnel and (b) Service families. [136411]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 10 May 2007]: The Ministry of Defence records a wide range of information on Service personnel. This information is used to support effective administration of Service personnel and to inform policy on, for example, pay, allowances, accommodation, training, health care, health and safety management, and career management. Statistics on Defence personnel are published regularly by the Defence Analytical Services Agency, and these are available on their website and in the Library of the House.

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Ballistic Missile Defence

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his United States counterpart on the deployment of missile defence systems in Europe. [141588]

Des Browne: It is not the practice of the Government to make public details of all discussions with foreign Governments as this would, or would be likely to, prejudice international relations. The position on missile defence in Europe is as set out in my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's reply of 4 June 2007, Official Report, column 237W, to the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague).

Departments: Advertising

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which (a) advertising agencies and (b) other organisations supplied consultancy services for advertising campaigns for (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in each of the last five years; and what the cost of these services was. [139431]

Derek Twigg: The only advertising undertaken by the Ministry of Defence is recruitment related.

Armed forces recruitment advertising is bought through the Central Office of Information (COI). Under the terms of the COI framework agreements advertising agencies are contracted to supply advertising services only and not to supply broader consultancy services.

The Royal Navy uses two advertising agencies for its recruit advertising activities, procured through the COI. These are Wright Collins Rutherford Scott, and Glue London. No additional external organisations are used to provide consultancy services.

The Army has not bought any advertising services outside of those procured through the COI. Currently, the Army is working with Zenith Optimedia to deliver advertising campaigns.

The Royal Air Force currently works with the advertising agency Delaney Lund Knox Warren to deliver its advertising campaigns. It has not procured any organisations to supply wider consultancy services for those campaigns.

Information on the recruitment of civilian staff is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Ex-servicemen: Military Decorations

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many ex-servicemen and women in Somerset (a) applied for and (b) were subsequently issued with (i) an HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge and (ii) a UK Merchant Seafarers Badge. [141504]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 11 June 2007]: The information on Veterans Badges is not held in a format that identifies how many badges were applied for and subsequently issued; it is possible to give information only on how many are issued. I can confirm that 3,060 Veterans Badges have been issued to ex-servicemen and women in Somerset since 2004.

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Information relating to the Merchant Seafarers Badge is not held in a format that allows counties to be readily identified. However, I can confirm a total of 5,634 badges have been issued since the scheme began on 27 June 2006.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to reply to Question 127568, tabled by the hon. Member for North Durham on 12 March 2007. [138517]

Derek Twigg: I replied to my hon. Friend on 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 752W.


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how many days the Sea Dart missile system was fully operational for each of the eight remaining Type 42 destroyers in (a) the last 12 months and (b) 2006. [141002]

Mr. Ingram: The Sea Dart missile system has a good record for reliability and effectiveness. I am withholding the detailed information as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.


Departments: Drama

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much it cost to run the interactive drama training sessions in each year since their introduction. [139998]

John Healey: In common with most other public and private sector organisations, the Treasury occasionally uses role-playing techniques in its training programmes, for example on teaching interview and management skills, and on improving diversity awareness. However, the costs of these elements of training programmes are not separately recorded.

Departments: Epilepsy

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people with epilepsy are employed by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [139101]

Mr. Timms: HM Treasury publishes a wide range of data on disability and diversity in its annual report and on its website ( _disability_equality.cfm). The number of officials with epilepsy is not detailed as this could identify individual members of staff.

Departments: Meetings

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of each meeting he attended on 10 May. [140007]

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John Healey: On 10 May the Chancellor attended Cabinet and then Treasury oral questions. It is not the practice of this or other administrations to release the minutes of Cabinet or other meetings.

Departments: Sexual Harassment

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims have been made against (a) his Department and (b) its agencies under the Sex Discrimination Act since 1997; and what the outcome was of each such case. [139997]

John Healey: The information is as follows:

Department Response Outcome



Not applicable

Royal Mint

One case

Settled out of court



Not applicable


69 cases The above figure includes figures for Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise prior to the establishment of HMRC. However, the ‘Customs and Excise’ element of these figures is for the last five years only as earlier figures are not available.

Number of claims withdrawn: 26 Claims upheld: None Claims not upheld: 16 Claims settled out of court: 27


VOA is unable to provide any information earlier than 2001-02 without incurring disproportionate costs. Since 2001-02 there have been 34 cases.

Claims not upheld: Five Claims settled out of court: four One case remains pending an employment tribunal hearing, and 21 further cases remain pending on the outcome of an employment tribunal on a common issue. Two pending internal investigation One pending outcome of an employment tribunal claim



Not applicable



Not applicable


Two cases

Cases not upheld: Two

Departments: Surveys

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library copies of his Department's employee surveys for (a) 1998 and (b) 1999. [142024]

John Healey: HM Treasury began employee surveys in 2002.

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EC Budget: Contributions

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the United Kingdom’s (a) gross and (b) net annual contributions to the European Union are expected to be in each of the next six years; and if he will make a statement. [142023]

Ed Balls: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) on 31 January 2006, Official Report, columns 398-400W.

Later calendar year estimates for the United Kingdom’s contributions to the EC Budget will be published annually in the Government’s “European Community Finances” White Paper. The 2007 edition of this White Paper (Cm 7090) was published on 22 May 2007.

Eligo International Limited

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) date, (b) value and (c) purpose was of each payment made by (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies to Eligo International Limited since 1997. [141270]

John Healey: None of the Chancellor's departments or agencies has found any records of payments to Eligo International Limited within the last five years. Changes in accounting systems mean that a positive confirmation for all bodies over the whole period since 1997 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Goodison Review

Mr. Swire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the estimated cost of implementation of the Goodison Review is, broken down by main budget headings; [140766]

(2) what progress his Department has made in implementing the recommendations in the Goodison Review for which his Department has responsibility; which recommendations relating to direct taxation have been implemented; and which of the recommendations in the review have yet to be implemented. [140768]

Mr. Timms: The Government implemented a number of Sir Nicholas Goodison’s recommendations and continue to keep those relating to direct taxation under review.

There are a variety of tax reliefs available to encourage private and corporate giving and the Government will, over the summer, consult with the sector on measures to increase the take up of Gift Aid, in addition to conducting an awareness raising campaign.

The information on costs requested is not available.

Government Departments: Buildings

Colin Challen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of commercial sector buildings in the UK were occupied by the central Government estate in each of the last five years. [141068]

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John Healey: Figures based on floor space data are available centrally only for 2004, 2005, and 2006 and then only for England and Wales.

The percentage occupation from the commercial sector in each of those years is approximately as follows:

Percentage occupation







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