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18 Dec 2008 : Column 957W—continued

HIV Infection

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department is giving to programmes to combat HIV/AIDS in (a) Africa and (b) Asia; and if he will make a statement. [243088]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for International Development's (DFID) bilateral expenditure on HIV and AIDS in Africa and Asia, 2005-06 to 2007-08 in £ million is as follows:

£ million

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Africa

186.1

183.7

206.0

Asia

100.4

112.0

130.3


To strengthen and deliver a wide range of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services in the period 2005-06 to 2007-08, total bilateral expenditure on HIV and AIDS programmes in Africa was £576 million and in Asia £343 million.

DFID also provides multilateral assistance to a range of organisations, a significant proportion of which is used to tackle HIV and AIDS in Africa and Asia. For example, DFID has provided over £250 million in core support to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria over the period 2005-06 to 2007-08.

Horn of Africa: Overseas Aid

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has for changes in the level of UK aid to the Horn of Africa region. [243409]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are planning to increase our level of bilateral aid to Ethiopia, from the current allocation of £130 million (2008-09), to £150 million in 2009-10, then to £175 million in 2010-11.

Our level of bilateral aid for Somalia and Eritrea will remain unchanged over the same period, at £21 million (Somalia) and £2.1 million (Eritrea) per year.

We have no bilateral programme in Djibouti.

These allocations will cover normal humanitarian requirements, though in the event of a crisis we would consider making further funds available (including to Djibouti).

Nigeria: Internally Displaced Persons

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of people displaced due to the conflict in the Nigerian city of Jos between 28 and 30 November 2008; and if he will make a statement. [243161]


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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Plateau State Government estimates that between 4,000 and 5,000 people were displaced due to the conflict in Jos between 28 and 30 November. Action Aid Nigeria estimates the number displaced at about 4,000.

Overseas Aid

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid projects were supported by his Department in (a) Pakistan, (b) Cambodia and (c) Zimbabwe in each of the last three years. [243089]

Mr. Michael Foster: Three tables showing the aid projects that were supported by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the funding committed over the last three years in Pakistan, Cambodia and Zimbabwe will be placed in the Library of the House.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Products: Import Duties

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 4 November 2008, Official Report, columns 391-4W, on the Common Agricultural Policy, what the cash amount of the tariff on (a) beef imports from Brazil, (b) butter imports from New Zealand, (c) lamb imports from New Zealand and (d) poultry meat from (i) Brazil and (ii) Thailand was in the last week for which figures are available. [243524]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

For the week beginning 1 December, the most recent week for which figures are available, Customs duty paid on non-processed bovine meat imported from Brazil totalled £37,637.39. The Customs duty paid on non-processed poultry meat imported from Brazil totalled £206,851.17.

Non-processed lamb from New Zealand was imported during this period but no Customs duty was paid due to preferential rates.

There were no imports of butter from New Zealand or non-processed poultry meat from Thailand.

Departmental Procurement

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether there has been nugatory cost to his Department and its agencies relating to tendered procurement where the tender process has been cancelled prior to the award of the contract in the last three years. [242459]

Huw Irranca-Davies: From information held centrally, the core-Department is unaware of any abortive cost to it relating to tendered procurement where the tender process has been cancelled prior to the award of the contract in the last three years. The core-Department would not hold centrally any such information in respect of any abortive costs incurred by its agencies and any such information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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Genetically Modified Organisms: Soya Beans

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the use of (a) genetically-modified soya and (b) farm animals fed on genetically-modified soya for human consumption. [244259]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

All genetically modified (GM) crops must undergo a rigorous safety assessment before they can be authorised for use as food ingredients or animal feed in the European Union. Food ingredients and animal feed derived from GM crops must be labelled accordingly to allow consumers to make an informed choice. There is no requirement for the products (for example meat, milk and eggs) from animals fed GM feed to be labelled as such.

Phytophthora Ramorum

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to combat the spread of Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae. [244120]

Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA and the Forestry Commission are aware of the potential threat these diseases pose to our native habitats and are continuing to take action to control and eradicate them. We appreciate the co-operative and proactive approach which landowners and other stakeholders have taken to manage Phytophthora infections at their properties.

There was an encouraging response to the recent consultation on future management of the risks from ‘Phytophthora ramorum’ and ‘Phytophthora kernoviae’. Officials are currently analysing those responses and will be working to develop a strategy that will make the most effective use of the resources available.

In the meantime, we urge everyone to continue to be vigilant and report any sign of disease, and to observe any restrictions in place where the disease has been found.

Rabbits

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) Network Rail and (b) the Highways Agency on rabbit infestation on land owned or controlled by each; and if he will make a statement. [244411]

Huw Irranca-Davies: On behalf of DEFRA, Natural England generally advises on and deals with complaints concerning rabbit infestations. In the past three years, officials from DEFRA and/or Natural England and previously the Rural Development Service, have dealt with 23 individual cases involving rabbits harboured on railway property. These have all been discussed with Network Rail at a local or regional level. A meeting was held at national level in June 2006 and Natural England are currently arranging a further meeting with Network Rail at national level for early in 2009 to discuss rabbit control on their property.


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In the past three years, officials have discussed three cases with the Highways Agency at a local or regional level relating to rabbit infestations on road verges. There are currently no plans to meet with the Highways Agency at a national level. In addition, officials have discussed nine cases with local council highway departments.

Scotland

Climate Change

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment his Department has made of its capacity to adapt to climate change; and what plans he has to publish a climate change adaptation strategy. [241170]

Ann McKechin: In July 2008, the cross-Government Adapting to Climate Change Programme published a framework for action which set out the Government’s strategy for adaptation and the work-plan for the cross-Government Programme for the next three years. This programme increases Government’s capacity to adapt by ensuring a co-ordinated approach across all Departments and the public sector, and overall responsibility for it rests with DEFRA. Information about the Programme and its work can be found at:

This includes taking forward work flowing from the Climate Change Act—including a national Climate Change Risk Assessment and cost benefit analysis which will inform future priorities for the statutory adaptation programme that will then begin in 2012.

The Government’s longer term strategy on adapting to a changing climate will be set out in this statutory National Adaptation Programme, which will be reviewed and updated on a five year rolling basis in response to updated risk assessments, and report to Parliament.

The Scotland Office is part of the Ministry of Justice. All central Government Departments are required to produce Sustainable Development Action Plans (SDAPs). The plans are scrutinised by the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), and Departments report on progress against their own SDAP targets in their annual reports and other key publications.

Queen Elizabeth II: Anniversaries

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans his Department has to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. [243977]

Ann McKechin: My Department has not, at this stage, developed plans on how to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen in 2012.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is in discussions with the Royal Household about how to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Defence

Academies

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had on the possibility of academy schools being sponsored by (a) the Armed Forces and
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(b) his Department; and what consideration he is giving to the establishment of a military academy school in Colchester. [244476]

Mr. Kevan Jones [holding answer 16 December 2008]: I have held discussions with my hon. Friend the Minister for Schools and Learners over the future of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, including the possible option of it becoming an academy, but no decisions have yet been made. While the MOD has no current plans to sponsor academies, service representatives often become involved with academies to represent service families as an interested party within the local community. In discussions with my hon. Friend the Minister for Schools and Learners, we agreed to look at encouraging the creation of academy schools with links to the local military community, in areas with historic military links and a large military presence, such as Colchester.

Armed Forces: Bullying

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cases of bullying within the Armed Forces have been reported in the last 24 months, broken down by armed service. [244962]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Data on bullying are collected bi-annually with the last six-monthly period currently available being up to 30 September 2008. The following figures therefore cover the period 30 September 2006 to 30 September 2008. They cover both formal and informal complaints. These figures are gross totals and do not distinguish between complaints that were upheld or not upheld.

The total number of formal complaints was 156 (Royal Navy 30, Army 58, RAF 68).

The total number of informal complaints was 322 (Royal Navy 132, Army 88, RAF 102).

Armed Forces: Catering

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much per meal his Department spent on individuals serving in the armed forces in the latest year for which figures are available. [244135]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 16 December 2008]: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Pay

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what financial benefits service personnel receive, broken down by (a) service and (b) rank. [241750]

Mr. Kevan Jones: Service personnel receive a remuneration package comprising the following elements:


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Rates of basic pay, specialist pay and some allowances, for all members of the armed forces up to the rank of Brigadier and equivalent, are recommended by the independent Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) in its annual report to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence. Copies of the AFPRB’s 37(th) Report—2008 (Cm 7315) and its Supplement (Cm 7347), which covers the pay of service medical and dental officers, for financial year 2008-09, are available in the Library of the House.

Pay rates for all senior service officers of Major General rank and equivalent, and above, are recommended by the independent Review Body on Senior Salaries (SSRB) in its annual report to the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Defence and the Secretary of State for Health. Copies of the SSRB’s 30(th) Report on Senior Salaries (Cm 7388), which covers financial year 2008-09, are available in the Library of the House.

Those allowances which do not fall within the remit of the AFPRB are reviewed annually by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Current rates for all service allowances are published in the Joint Service Publication 752—Tri Service Regulations for Allowances, which is available on the Internet (via search engine requests for ‘JSP 752’).

Updated pension rates and associated benefits for service personnel are calculated annually by the MOD. Details of pension benefits for former service personnel for financial year 2008-09 are available on the MOD website at:

which includes a pensions calculator.

In addition to the remuneration package already described, there is also a wider benefits package for service personnel. This includes free medical and dental care, 30 days annual leave plus other targeted leave such as post operational tour leave, sporting facilities and adventurous training, subsidised accommodation, an operational welfare package and the Forces Discount Brochure.


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