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29 Oct 2007 : Column 951W—continued

Information is not held centrally which can identify former service personnel released on non-medical grounds, who have subsequently been awarded war pensions for suffering the symptoms of Multiple
29 Oct 2007 : Column 952W
Sclerosis while in service. To obtain the information would involve the examination of individual files which could be done only at disproportionate cost—there are currently around 178,000 people in receipt of a war disablement pension.

No service personnel have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and awarded attributable benefits under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. Less than five service personnel have been discharged without benefits. The scheme provides no-fault compensation for all serving and former service personnel for injury/illness caused on or after 6 April 2005. It awards benefits where the evidence shows, on the balance of probabilities, that service is the predominant cause of the injury or disorder.

Armed Forces: Personnel Management

Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received on the operation of the Joint Personnel Administration; and if he will make a statement. [161411]

Derek Twigg: Since roll-out of the Joint Personnel Administration system in March 2006, 66 representations have been received from MPs in the form of ministerial correspondence.

Armed Forces: Procurement

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) lowest and (b) average percentage spend was of procurement projects in each category (i) A, (ii) B, (iii) C, (iv) D and (v) all categories in the financial year 2006-07. [148269]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: It is unclear the precise information the hon. Member is requesting, however, I am able to provide the following:

Category Lowest speed (percentage) Average speed (percentage) Number of projects

A

0.002

2.128

47

B

0.003

2.564

39

C

0.056

1.923

52

D

0.003

0.752

133

All

0.001

0.369

271


Armed Forces: Suicide

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many suicides there were among British armed services personnel in each of the last 10 years for which records are available, broken down by service; and if he will make a statement. [161317]

Derek Twigg: The number of coroner-confirmed suicides and open verdicts deaths that occurred among UK regular service personnel while in service during the period 1997 to 2006 is provided in the following table.


29 Oct 2007 : Column 953W
Suicides and open verdict deaths( l) , UK regular armed forces, 1997 to 2006
All Naval Service( 2) Army RAF

All

204

34

132

38

1997

26

4

17

5

1998

19

2

13

4

1999

27

6

17

4

2000

36

6

22

8

2001

15

2

11

2

2002

14

4

10

0

2003

25

3

15

7

2004

19

2

15

2

2005

19

5

10

4

2006(3)

4

0

2

2

(1) The figures provided do not include any violent or unnatural deaths that have not yet been fully investigated by a coroner (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or the procurator fiscal (Scotland).
(2) Naval service includes Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
(3) The figures for 2006 are provisional as we are still awaiting the outcome of a number of Coroners’ investigations.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Government plan to procure sufficient Mastiff vehicles to replace all of the Land Rovers currently in use in theatre. [158645]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 16 October 2007]: Commanders need a range of vehicles of varying protection, mobility and profile to be used as they see fit, to meet the mission and counter the threat. Mastiff fulfils a complementary role to the other vehicles we use on operations.

The additional Mastiff vehicles announced by the Prime Minister on 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 24, will provide a welcome addition to the protected patrol vehicle fleet.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Supercat MWMIK vehicle will be used on (a) conventional patrols and (b) convoy duty. [159182]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: It will be for commanders on the ground to determine how new vehicles deployed on operations will be used.

By deploying a suite of new capabilities to Afghanistan and Iraq over the last year, we have provided a greater range of capabilities from which commanders can choose the most suitable vehicles for a particular task.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Afghanistan

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 22 October 2007, Official Report, column 7, on Afghanistan, on what basis the figure of 400 Mastiff vehicles was determined; and if he will make a statement. [161160]

Des Browne: The planned procurement of some 280 Mastiff vehicles, when combined with other new
29 Oct 2007 : Column 954W
protected vehicles, will deliver more than 400 new protected patrol vehicles to our forces. This represents a significant investment in the protection and operational effectiveness of our troops and, coupled with the delivery of enhanced protection to our in service vehicles like Bulldog, Viking and Warrior, will provide our troops with a range of options within a fleet of over 600 vehicles.

Army Board: Uniforms

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost is of providing a dress uniform for a member of the Army Board. [154045]

Derek Twigg: There are no specific military dress requirements associated with Army Board membership. There are therefore no additional uniform costs arising from an individual’s appointment to the board.

Army: Conditions of Employment

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average length of service completed by retiring Army captains was in (a) 2000, (b) 2003, (c) 2005 and (d) 2006. [161530]

Derek Twigg: The following table shows the average length of service completed by Direct Entry (DE) Captains on retirement from the Regular Army for each of the calendar years 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Direct Entry

2000

6 years

2003

5 years 6 months

2005

5 years 8 months

2006

5 years 6 months

Notes: 1. The averages are based on Army Captains who have left the Army on completion of their terms of service and includes those who have outflowed to the Regular Army Reserve during the stipulated period. 2. Army Captains on a Late Entry Commission type, those who have additional Soldier service, have been excluded from these averages. 3. The figures reflect reckonable service from age 21. 4. The average time served is for UK Regular Forces which includes Nursing Services and excludes Full Time Reserve Service personnel, Gurkhas, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists.

Army: Drugs

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many drugs tests on Army personnel produced positive results in (a) January to June 2006, (b) July to December 2006 and (c) January to June 2007; and how many of those results were positive for (i) cocaine, (ii) cocaine only, (iii) cannabis, (iv) cannabis only, (v) ecstasy and (vi) ecstasy only. [161771]

Derek Twigg: The following table gives the number of drug tests showing positive results for cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy, and combinations of those drugs with others for the periods requested:


29 Oct 2007 : Column 955W

29 Oct 2007 : Column 956W
Positive r esults
Drug Type 1 January 2006 to 30 June 2006 1 July 2006 to 31 December 2006 1 January 2007 to 30 June 2007

Cocaine

185

179

206

Cocaine and Ecstasy

10

23

19

Cocaine, Ecstasy and Cannabis

3

3

3

Cocaine, Ecstasy and Other

2

1

0

Cocaine and Cannabis

28

15

12

Cocaine, Cannabis and Other

1

0

1

Cocaine and Other

4

2

1

Ecstasy

31

46

50

Ecstasy and Cannabis

5

9

1

Ecstasy, Cannabis and Other

3

1

1

Ecstasy and Other

4

5

2

Cannabis

162

91

106

Cannabis and Other

2

1

2

Other

11

10

13

Total Positive Results

451

386

417


Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British army personnel tested positive for single-drug-only use in (a) the first 120 positives tested in 2003 and (b) the 150 positives tested during 2006, broken down by day of the week tested. [161772]

Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 23 October 2007, Official Report, column 173W.


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