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Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1405W, if he will place in the Library a copy of the report on Jobcentre Pluss investigation into the feasibility of introducing advance payments. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 28 April 2008]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1405W, if he will place in the Library a copy of the report on Jobcentre Pluss investigation into the feasibility of introducing advance payments. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as chief executive of Jobcentre Plus.
I have no plans to place a copy of the report in the Library as this is subject to ongoing policy development. I would be pleased to arrange for you to be briefed by one of my senior officials, if you would find that helpful.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners that will have a weekly income below the minimum income guarantee in each year to 2050; and what proportion of these will be (a) women, (b) aged over 75, (c) aged over 80 and (d) aged over 85 years. 
Pension credit ensures that no-one aged 60 and over need live on an income of less than £124.05 a week. We want every pensioner to claim the benefits to which they are entitled which is why The Pension Service continue to undertake a wide range of activities to encourage people to claim the pension credit they are entitled to, including data matching to identify those who may be eligible but who are not receiving benefits, home visits for vulnerable customers and ever closer working with partner organisations.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will (a) undertake an impact assessment of the proposal to reduce the backdating period for pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit claims and (b) make it his policy to publish the assessment before implementing any change in policy. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given to the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander) on 24 April 2008, Official Report, column 2174W.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 29 April 2008, Official Report, column 49W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, whether (a) elements of British forces will have a command relationship subordinate to the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Force and (b) elements of the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Force will have a command relationship subordinate to British forces in 2008. 
British forces will be neither commanded by, nor in command of the US 24(th) Marine Expeditionary Unit, but individual arrangements may be made between UK and US forces as dictated by the practical execution of military operations.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of (a) infantry battalions, (b) helicopters, (c) aircraft and (d) training teams available to NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan to achieve their objectives. 
Des Browne: The Bucharest summit saw a number of nations make significant additional commitments to the International Security Assistance Force; in particular President Sarkozy confirmed the deployment of an additional battalion of French troops to the east of the country.
Nevertheless, there remains a need for more training and mentoring personnel; combat forces in the south and east of Afghanistan; and key enablers, such as helicopters and other aircraft, to meet the Combined Joint Statement of Requirements for Afghanistan. The UK continues to work with partners to address these shortfalls.
Des Browne: The following table shows the number of UK service personnel deployed on operations by location at 28 April 2008. The number of personnel in theatre will naturally fluctuate on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including leave (rest and recuperation), temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, the roulement of forces and other factors.
|Number of personnel deployed by location( 1)|
|(1) Countries with 10 or more personnel are shown separately. Other countries with fewer than 10 personnel per Country include Bosnia, Georgia, Nepal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. With the exception of Bosnia, personnel in these countries are participating in smaller UN operations, e.g. we contribute five military personnel to the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG).|
1. Figures for Iraq and Afghanistan have been rounded to the nearest 100 for operational security reasons. Other figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Due to rounding, the total is not equal to the sum of the individual locations.
2. Figures for Afghanistan are artificially high due to the handover period while a Relief In Place (RIP) is in operation. The operational establishment for Afghanistan is 7,800.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the change in the budget of the armed forces in (a) cash, (b) real and (c) percentage terms will be in (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10, (iii) 2010-11 over the preceding year in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: The defence budget over the years 2007-08 to 2010-11 can be found in the 2004 spending review (CM6237) and the 2007 pre-Budget report and comprehensive spending review (CM7227) White Papers. These figures can be converted to real terms using the GDP deflator, available on HM Treasurys website.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Ministry of Justice on employing the armed forces on training programmes with young offenders; how many armed forces personnel he expects to be involved in such programmes; what proportion of the cost for such programmes will be borne by his Department; and how much that is expected to be. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There has been a preliminary discussion between MOJ and MOD on the wider issue of strengthening the links between the armed forces and Prison Service to broaden the scope of opportunities for ex-offenders within the military. There are currently no plans to employ members of the armed forces on training programmes with young offenders.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the average tour interval for each battalion in the (a) infantry and (b) Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(2) what the average tour interval was for each regiment in the (a) Royal Artillery, (b) Royal Engineers, (c)
Royal Logistic Corps and (d) Royal Corps of Signals in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Historical data to support the calculation of the average tour interval for each battalion or regiment of the infantry or the Royal Artillery are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Infantry unit tour intervals|
|Unit deployed||Last operational deployment (as a unit)||Start date||Previous operational deployment (as a unit)||End date||Last unit tour interval (months)|
|(1) 1 RS and 1 KOSB amalgamated to form 1 Scots in August 2006. 1 Scots is to deploy for the first time as a formed unit to Iraq in December 2007. For the purposes of this question, 1 Scots was counted as one unit with a tour interval of 17 months.|
(2) 1 Korbr, 1 Kings and QLR amalgamated in July 2006 to form 1 Lancs and 2 Lancs. Operation Telic 11 will be the first unit operational deployment for 1 Lancs. Because of the nature of this amalgamation, it is not representative to calculate the average tour intervals of 1 Lancs and 2 Lancs based on the previous operational deployments of 1 Korbr, 1 Kings and QLR, as such for the purpose of this question, no unit tour interval value for 1 Korbr, 1 Kings, QLR, 1 Lancs or 2 Lancs was included in the calculation.
(3) 1 RGBW and 1 DDLI amalgamated in March 2007 to form 1 Rifles. 1 Rifles has yet to deploy as a formed unit. For the purposes of this question, 1 Rifles was counted as one unit with a tour interval of 43.5 months.
(4) 1 Para transferred to directorate special forces in August 2005 and for the purposes of this question, no unit tour interval value was included in the calculation.
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