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1 Feb 2008 : Column 700W—continued

Armed Forces: Pay

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) net paybill cost and (b) net percentage increase to the paybill was of implementing the Armed Forces Pay Review Body recommendations in each financial year from 1996-97 to 2007-08. [180299]

Derek Twigg: Figures showing the net pay bill costs and the net percentage increases arising from the
1 Feb 2008 : Column 701W
implementation of the recommendations of the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body (AFPRB) for the years 1999-2000 to 2007-08 are set out in the following table.

Net pay bill cost increase (£ million) Net pay bill percentage increase (percentage)

1999-2000

202,000

3.50

2000-01

260,000

4.60

2001-02

221,686

3.73

2002-03

236,347

3.94

2003-04

266,000

4.30

2004-05

194,985

2.89

2005-06

216,056

3.10

2006-07

207,924

2.99

2007-08

274,681

3.90


The figures represent cost estimates which were produced annually to inform the deliberations of the AFPRB. They cover pay, specialist pay, those allowances that fall within the remit of the AFPRB, charges, employers' national insurance contributions and superannuation charges adjusted for past experience. The figures are net, taking into account the effects of increased receipts from food and accommodation charges. The figures do not take account of other changes to the armed forces' pay bill arising from such factors as incremental progression and promotion.

Corresponding net pay bill figures for the implementation of the armed forces' pay award, for the years 1996-97 to 1998-99, have not been retained.

Armed Forces: Psychology

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the effect on recruitment and retention of psychologists for the armed forces of not having practitioners in uniform; [182405]

(2) how the UK's policy on uniformed psychologists in the armed forces compares with that of other NATO countries. [182406]

Derek Twigg: The Defence Medical Services employ uniformed military psychiatrists and mental health nurses. We currently assess that there is no requirement to employ uniformed clinical psychologists. In operational theatres, we deploy highly skilled and experienced uniformed mental health nurses to provide the necessary in-theatre care and treatment for our personnel.

We employ civilian clinical psychologists as integral components of the mental health multi-disciplinary teams in our military Departments of Community Mental Health. They have a vital role in providing tertiary care for referred patients, supervision for other team members, and in the development of the service.

It is not considered that there is a detrimental effect on recruiting and retention of not having practitioners in uniform but we always keep those matters under review.


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The MOD maintains an awareness of the practices and policies of allied nations, many of whom do employ uniformed clinical psychologists but most of whom, unlike the UK, do not have an experienced cadre of mental health nurses.

Defence

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the planned closure dates are for the UK defence sections in posts in (a) Albania, (b) Croatia, (c) Guatemala, (d) Iceland, (e) Macedonia, (f) Slovakia and (g) Thailand. [183380]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Defence sections in Albania, Croatia, Guatemala, Macedonia and Thailand will have closed officially by 1 April 2008. Some support staff will remain beyond this date in order to close accounts and dispose of equipment and vehicles. The Defence sections in Ireland and Slovakia closed on 26 and 31 October 2007 respectively. There is no Defence section in Iceland.

Defence Manufacturers Association

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many events organised by the Defence Manufacturers' Association have been attended by (a) him and (b) officials from his Department or Defence Equipment and Support in the last 12 months; and what the purpose was of such meetings. [174784]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Records show that Defence Ministers have attended the following events organised by the Defence Manufacturers Association (DMA) over the past 12 months:

Date Event Defence Minister

16 May 2007

DMA Annual Reception

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support

13 September 2007

DSEi Exhibition

Minister for the Armed Forces

13 September 2007

DMA/DSEi dinner

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support

29 October 2007

DMA/DE and S industry day

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support

18 December 2007

Meeting with DMA chairman at MOD

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support


Information about officials attending DMA organised events is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Data Protection

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what audits his Department and its agencies carried out in relation to personal data and IT equipment in each of the last 10 years. [176484]

Derek Twigg: Between 2001 and 2007, 45 audits have been carried out in accordance with HM Treasury Government Internal Audit Standards. Information relating to years before 2001-02 is not held centrally and could be only provided at disproportionate cost.


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Future Large Aircraft

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the projected in-service date was for the A400m aircraft in each year since 1997; [183128]

(2) what the in-service date is for the A400m. [183129]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The projected in-service date for A400M aircraft, as one of the MOD’s highest value projects, is published annually in the Major Projects Report. At project approval in May 2000, the approved in-service date was December 2009. The projected in-service date was revised in March 2003 to March 2011 due to delay in contract activation. We are currently reassessing the projected in-service date in light of industry’s recent announcement that the programme is running six months late with additional risk of a further six months’ delay.


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Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency: Manpower

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to change the number of Ministry of Defence Guarding Agency officers. [182319]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence Guard Service (MGS) is the uniformed, unarmed element forming part of the larger Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency. The complement for MGS Officers in 2008 is 4146. Security at MOD establishments is kept under constant review and future numbers will reflect the security requirements of the Department.

NATO: Finance

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what NATO's total common founding budget was in each of the last 10 years. [177541]

Des Browne: NATO's total common-funded budget for 1998 to 2007 was as follows:

NATO military budget, security investment programme (NSIP). a nd civil budget expenditure 1998 to 2007
£ million
NATO Common fund 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007( 3)

Military budget(1)

625.6

653.0

717.6

709.3

749.0

761.4

788.6

855.3

960.2

1030.0

NSIP(1)

410.6

582.0

678.6

546.3

731.4

678.7

652.1

606.7

582.1

640.0

Civil budget(2)

144.9

148.6

150.7

155.0

167.0

170.4

171.6

175.9

181.1

186.1

Total

1,181.1

1,383.6

1,546.9

1,410.6

1,647.4

1,610.5

1,612.3

1,637.9

1,723.4

1,856.1

(1) Actual expenditure
(2) Approved budgets
(3) Estimate

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the review of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund. [181514]

Jonathan Shaw: The 2007 comprehensive spending review confirmed the continuation of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund over the three financial years from 1 April 2008. DEFRA issued a consultation on the future priorities for, and delivery of, the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund on 30 January.

Agriculture: Subsidies

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much was paid by the Single Farm Payments Scheme to those individuals on the scheme who received £150,000 or more in each year for which figures are available; [182934]

(2) how many individuals received £150,000 or more from the Single Farm Payments Scheme in each year for which figures are available. [182935]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 28 January 2008]: The Single Payment Scheme (SPS) 2005 and 2006 payments to individuals who received £150,000 or more are reflected in the table.

SPS 2007 payments are still being made and RPA cannot provide equivalent figures at this stage.

Individuals Total amount(£)

SPS 2005

674

169,312,099

SPS 2006

624

156,890,485


Christmas

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department’s agencies spent on (a) Christmas cards and (b) postage of Christmas cards in each year since 1997. [182445]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA came into being in June 2001. The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. In 2006 and 2007, core-DEFRA did not produce physical Christmas cards opting instead for a selection of e-greetings cards chosen following an internal design competition and made available for all staff to use. Accordingly, no postage costs were incurred.

Farms: Norfolk

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms closed in Norfolk in each of the last five years. [182101]


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Jonathan Shaw: Information on the number of holdings is collected in the annual June Survey of Agriculture and Horticulture. Information is not collated on the number of holdings closing. The following figures show the number of registered holdings at June each year. These figures show net change only and therefore include gains as well as losses.

Total holdings in Norfolk

2002

6,511

2003

6,589

2004

6,751

2005

6,783

2006

6,658

Notes:
1 Estimates are based on a sample survey and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling error.
2. Register improvement exercises, animal health requirements and the introduction of the Single Payment Scheme in 2005 have led to an increase in the number of holdings registered.
3. While in the majority of cases a farm holding equates to a farm business some farm businesses are made up of more than one holding.
4. Changes can occur in the ownership and status of the holding which may not necessarily be reflected in the above figures.
5. Information on the de-registration of VAT registered holdings is available from the Office for National Statistics.
Source:
June Survey of Agriculture

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