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Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the annual change in the cost to the public purse of the 2006 changes to the armed forces pension scheme; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Kevan Jones: For the armed forces pension scheme 1975, the 2006 change constituted the introduction from 6 April 2006 of a preserved pension age of 65 for future service. The preserved pension age for service before that date is 60.
The armed forces pension scheme 2005, which was introduced for new entrants on 6 April 2005, was designed with a preserved pension age of 65. In addition further savings were realised by the overall scheme design. For example, removing the immediate pension for those leaving before the age of 55 and replacing it with early departure payment (EDP) scheme benefits for those who serve until at least age 40 and have at least 18 years service. EDP income, which is paid until the preserved pension comes into payment at age 65, is paid at a significant lower level that would have been the case if the pension had become due on leaving the armed forces.
A proportion of the overall saving was recycled into improved death-in-service and dependants' benefits. Savings in employer contributions for the armed forces pension schemes is estimated at around £50 million in 2008-09, which will grow in subsequent years due to the increasing
proportion of membership covered by the new scheme. In the longer term, annual savings are estimated at around £125 million a year.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel aged under 18 years died (a) while on active service and (b) in training in each of the last five years; and what the cause of death was in each case. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There have been no deaths of UK service personnel under 18 years of age while on active service in the last five years, where active service is defined as military duty in an operational area.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number of under 18-year-olds serving in the armed forces can be found in Tri Service Publication (TSP) 8Age Distribution of UK Regular Forces. Table 1 shows the number of UK regular forces by age and sex as at 1 April 2008.
www/dasa.mod.uk/applications/newWeb/www/index.php? page=48&pubType=1&thiscontent=80&Publish Time=09:30:00 &date=2008-05-29&disText=1%20April%202008&from= listing &topDate=2008-05-29
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many under 18-year-olds have applied for discretionary discharge under the unhappy minors provisions in the last three years; and how many of these applications were granted. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Following the introduction of the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) System for all three services, the total number of under-18s who have left the armed forces can be provided but this figure cannot be broken down by the reasons for leaving.
There are no known circumstances in which a formal application for discretionary discharge under the Under 18 Discharge as of Right scheme has been rejected. The commanding officer has discretion to delay a decision on discharge (for example, if at sea) if he has doubts about the permanence of the individuals unhappiness; however, it is exceedingly rare for such an unhappy individual to be refused immediate permission to leave.
|FY 2005-06||FY 2006-07||FY 2007-08|
|(1) Figures are provisional and subject to review.|
1. Due to ongoing validation of data from JPA, all Naval Service flow statistics from period ending 31 October 2006, Army flow statistics from period ending 31 March 2007, and flow statistics from period ending 30 April 2007 are provisional and subject to review.
2. As a consequence of JPA, Army outflow data by age are unavailable for period ending 31 March 2007. Consequently Army data shown for FY 2006-07 are for the 12 months from 1 March 2006 to 28 February 2007.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the commitment of young people who joined the armed forces before the age of 18 years to serve for four years beyond their 18th birthday with (a) international and human rights conventions and (b) the International Labour Organisation Child Labour Conventions. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence does not consider the minimum commitment period for soldiers under the age of 18 years on enlistment into the Army to be in breach of either international and human rights conventions or the International Labour Organisation Child Labour Conventions.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency planning had been conducted at AWE Burghfield before the 2007 floods to prepare for such an eventuality; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: Contingency planning at AWE Burghfield is based on the output of a rolling programme of assessments undertaken as part of the site safety cases. Before the 2007 flooding these concluded that the surface water management system would be adequate to prevent flooding of the operational facilities in normal circumstances.
Prior to the 2007 event, localised flooding was experienced at AWE Burghfield, which resulted in further contingency measures being implemented. This involved clearing and dredging the Burghfield Brook, which runs through the site, and reprofiling its banks to allow a greater amount of water to be contained and a constant flow to be maintained.
Although the measures taken mitigated the effects of the July 2007 heavy rainfall, flooding still occurred as run-off from surrounding fields migrated to the site. Water sampling was completed throughout the site and no abnormal results were detected. At no time was there any threat to the operational safety of AWE sites, to the public or the environment.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence further to the answer of 20 October 2008, Official Report, column 130W, on China: armed forces, whether the interruption of military co-operation with China by EU member states, as agreed in the Madrid Declaration 1989, remains in place. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As I said in my answer to the hon. Member on 20 October 2008, Official Report, column 130W, most of the measures of the Madrid Declaration of 1989 have long since fallen into disuse. This includes the measure specifying the interruption of military co-operation by member states. The arms embargo, however, remains in place.
Anne Moffat: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department records the names of Colombian security forces personnel who have received training from UK military advisers in Colombia. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence keeps a record of Colombian security force personnel who have received UK training in Colombia for future monitoring purposes, including any accusations of human rights abuses. To date, there have been no cases of any UK-trained personnel being involved in such abuses. As we have previously made clear, the names of trained personnel are withheld as their release would, or would be likely to, prejudice international relations.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of gross domestic product was spent on defence (a) including the cost of military operations and (b) excluding the cost of operations in each year since 1997; and what forecast he has made of the proportions to be so spent in each year to 2011. 
|Percentage GDP including cost of operations||Percentage GDP excluding cost of operations|
Figures to 2003-04 are calculated on a cash/near cash basis; from 2004-05 onwards they are calculated using total DEL.
Figures for expenditure on defence (defined according to the UNs Classification of Function of Government Function (COFOG) category) are published in HM Treasurys Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses, as set out at table 2. These figures include the additional costs of military operations but do not separately identify these costs.
|Percentage of GDP (outturn)|
Our latest forecast for the additional cost of operations will be set out in the Winter Supplementary Estimates. We do not publish forecasts for the additional cost of operations in future years or by proportion of GDP.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what IT projects (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies is undertaking; and what the most recent estimate of (i) the cost and (ii) the completion date of each is. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: An IT project can vary from installing single computers and software licences to major programmes, such as the Defence Information Infrastructure. To confirm all of the IT projects the Ministry of Defence, and each of its agencies, is undertaking and their estimates of cost and completion date can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of civil servants in his Department and its agencies are members of the (a) Classic, (b) Classic Plus, (c) Nuvos and (d) Premium civil service pension schemes. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: It is important to bear in mind that the Ministry of Defence employs staff in a wide variety of occupations and professions. Some, such as our teachers and lecturers, belong to the teachers pension scheme while our medical and nursing staff belong to the NHS pension scheme. These, of course, are in a minority. The vast majority of MOD civil servants are eligible to belong to the civil service pension schemealthough some choose not to join a pension scheme or opt for a partnership pension account. Consequently, the number of staff belonging to the four specified pension schemes falls short of the Department's total civil service strength which, as at 1 September, stood at 79,510 (full and part-time). Using the latest data, the figures, which include trading funds and agencies, are as follows:
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