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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what types of personal information required to support claims for (a) pension credit, (b) housing benefit and (c) council tax benefit will not be required in the future; and what assessment he has made of the effects of a reduction in the volume of information required on the time taken to (i) process such claims and (ii) clear the backlog in claims processing. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have already reduced duplication in the provision of personal information for people claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit over the phone with pension credit. The Pension Service fill in a short claim form on the customer's behalf and the income and savings information supplied for the pension credit application is used for the housing benefit and council tax benefit claim.
And from October 2008, we are proposing to further streamline this claims process, so that no claim form for housing benefit or council tax benefit will be required. The housing benefit and council tax benefit information will be collected by the Pension Service and automatically passed to the relevant local authority to assess entitlement.
There are no proposals to change the types of personal information that are required to process claims for pension credit, housing benefit or council tax benefit. However, the types of personal information required to process claims to pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit are kept under review to ensure that where possible requirements are simplified relieving the burden on customers, whilst continuing to protect public funds.
Helen Goodman: A total of 2,000 copies of the Draft Legislative Programme were provided gratis to all Members of both Houses and key stakeholders at a cost of approximately £24,000. A full 12-week consultation period on the draft programme is in progress until 6 August after which we will respond in the autumn and comments made will be taken into account in considering the content of the next Queen's Speech. The changes from the DLP and the final programme are a matter of public record and are set out on pages 7-8 of the Government's Draft Legislative ProgrammeTaking a Wider View (Cm 7248) which was published in November.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether arrangements will be put in place to screen mail whose senders are unidentifiable and which is received at hon. Members' home addresses, consequent on the release of such addresses under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Prime Minister's oral answer of 21 May 2008, Official Report, column 315, how many tanks will be sent to Afghanistan; by when these tanks will be delivered into theatre; how they will be delivered into theatre; at what cost; and when the policy to deploy tanks in Afghanistan was approved. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Secretary of State announced the deployment to Afghanistan of Warrior armoured fighting vehicles on 26 February 2007, Official Report, column 619 and they were deployed on schedule last autumn. We have no plans to deploy Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks to that theatre.
Each Warrior costs approximately £85,500 to ship to Afghanistan via commercial heavy air lift. I am withholding the number of Warrior deployed in Afghanistan, as this information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether measures are in place to ensure service personnel are offered (a) priority and (b) first refusal in buying (i) their accommodation and (ii) other service accommodation that is being sold off; 
Derek Twigg: The majority of service family accommodation properties in England and Wales are owned by Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL) and leased by the Department until there is no longer a defence use for them, when they are handed back to AHL for disposal on the open market. While there is no obligation on AHL to offer discounts to current or former service personnel when selling its properties, it has in the past offered certain incentives, concessions or priority to personnel voluntarily. We understand that between 25 and 30 per cent. of properties have been sold in this way.
Surplus non-AHL residential properties in the United Kingdom are normally sold on the open market through competition in accordance with Treasury guidance in order to achieve the maximum receipt for the tax-payer. For these reasons, the Department is not able to offer priority, first refusal or discounts to service personnel. However, potential options are currently being explored to determine whether greater assistance might be given to service personnel. Currently, we are mindful of local needs and accordingly properties may be sold either individually or, in some cases, in bulk to local authorities or other registered social landlords as appropriate.
Derek Twigg: The information for each year since 1997 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) has published two armed forces psychiatric morbidity reports which provide figures for the periods January to March 2007 and April to June 2007, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Derek Twigg: The study is currently being written up by the Kings Centre for Military Health Research for submission to peer-reviewed academic journals. Once this process is successfully completed copies will be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The deployment of the EU military mission to Chad and the Central African Republic is progressing on schedule and there are now over 2,500 troops in theatre. Initial operating capability was achieved on 15 March and the operation commander intends the operation to reach full operational capability by the end of June 2008.
The increasing presence of EUFOR troops on the ground has been broadly welcomed by international NGOs and UN agencies and the EUFOR mission is continuing to establish effective liaison with the UN on the parallel deployment of the UN policing mission (MINURCAT).
A joint EU/UN Technical Assessment Mission (TAM) will take place in June 2008. This will feed into the UN Secretary-Generals mid-mandate report on EUFOR in September, which will identify follow-on options. This review process will provide a formal assessment of progress that has been made under EUFOR Tchad/RCA so far.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department and its agencies have spent on (a) locating, (b) recovering and (c) identifying the information held on lost or stolen (i) electronic equipment, (ii) documents and (iii) other data storage means in each of the last 12 months. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 20 May 2008, Official Report, column 179W, on departmental equality, what percentage of (a) senior civil service and (b) top management positions in his Department were held by women; what percentage of senior civil service positions were held by black and minority ethnic employees; what percentage of positions were held by black and minority ethnic employees in his
Department as a whole; what percentage of senior civil service positions were held by disabled employees; and what percentage of positions were held by disabled employees in his Department as a whole. 
the percentage of women in the core of our senior civil service was 12.2 per cent. If we include positions, such as MOD medical staff, who hold the equivalent grade, this figure is 14.5 per cent.;
the percentage of women in top management positions is 10.4 per cent.;
the percentage of senior civil service core positions that are held by black and minority ethnic employees is less than 1 per cent.;
3.1 per cent. of positions are held by black and minority ethnic employees in the Department as a whole;
4.2 per cent. of our core senior civil service positions are held by disabled employees (this percentage is based upon known records only, i.e. where individuals have declared what their disability status is); and
5.5 per cent. of positions within the Department as a whole (with known disability) are held by disabled employees.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times his Department hired VIP facilities at (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick, (c) Luton and (d) Stansted airports in each month since May 2006; and what the expenditure on VIP facilities at each was in each of those months. 
|Bookings from May 2006 to May 2008|
|Number of bookings||Cost (£)|
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