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Museums and Galleries: Finance

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to which (a) museums and (b) other cultural institutions his Department regularly gives a grant; and what the amount of each grant was in the latest year for which figures are available. [256512]

Mr. Kevan Jones: In 2007-08 grants in aid were paid to the following museums:

Body Total (£)

Royal Air Force Museum


National Army Museum


Royal Naval Museum


Royal Marines Museum


Fleet Air Arm Museum


Royal Navy Submarine Museum


In 2007-08 grants in aid were paid to the following bodies which may be assessed as being cultural institutions:

Body Total (£)

Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Royal Hospital Chelsea


Royal British Legion


National Memorial Arboretum


The information relating to Service Museums has been published on pages 330 and 331 of volume II of the MOD's Annual Report and Accounts for 2007-08, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.

This document is also available in the MOD's Freedom of Information Publication scheme at:

Netherlands: Joint Exercises

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 3 February 2009, Official Report, column 1116W, on Netherlands: military exercises, (1) how many Royal Marines he expects to participate in the 2009 UK/Netherlands amphibious landing force training exercise. [255587]

(2) where the 2009 exercise will take place. [255639]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Up to 700 Royal Marines are expected to participate in support of the 2009 UK/Netherlands amphibious landing force exercise, which is expected to take place in Turkey and Brunei.

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Reserve Forces

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the report of the review of the reserve forces to be published. [257347]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In the spring.

Somalia: Piracy

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what legislative or other authority Royal Navy ships may come under European Union command during Operation Atalanta. [256426]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Operation Atalanta was launched by a Joint Action, a unanimous decision of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, which comprises national Ministers from each of the EU member states. In the UK this decision was subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

Royal Navy ships that the UK Government decide to make available to participate in Operation Atalanta come under command of the EU's Operation Commander for the operation, Rear Admiral Philip Jones RN, based in his operation headquarters at Northwood.

In his role as Operation Commander, Admiral Jones reports to the Political and Security Committee, a Council body in which ambassadors from each of the EU member states exercise political control and strategic direction over the operation, on instructions from national authorities.

The Political and Security Committee reports regularly on the progress of the operation to the Council of Ministers.

Stabilisation Aid Fund

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will provide a breakdown of his Department's contribution of £15,350,000 to the Stabilisation Aid Fund as referred to in the written ministerial statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 78-9WS, on departmental expenditure limits. [257969]

Mr. Hutton: The Stabilisation Aid Fund (SAF) amounts to £73 million in 2008-09. For the purpose of the fund’s financial management, the SAF sits on the MOD’s baseline, but is managed jointly by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the MOD. During the course of the financial year, the MOD has transferred funds to the FCO and DFID according to their forecast expenditure on SAF projects. The transfer of £15.35 million at spring supplementary estimates to the FCO is to cover residual forecast expenditure across a number of projects. Of this, £1.75 million is for project costs in Iraq, and £13.6 million for project costs in Afghanistan.

UK Forces: Afghanistan

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what formal statement of co-operation in relation to UK forces operations and activities in Afghanistan has been approved by (a) NATO and (b) the EU. [253207]

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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 2 February 2009]: UK forces in Afghanistan operate under the auspices of a Military Technical Agreement between the International Security Assistance Force and the Government of Afghanistan. This arrangement is in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1833.


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of the BVT Surface Fleet; and if he will make a statement. [257677]

Mr. Quentin Davies: BVT Surface Fleet Ltd. (BVT) became fully operational on 1 July 2008 and is one of the Department's key maritime industrial partners. The company is at the heart of the future warship build programme, for example as the prime contractor for the Type 45 destroyers, playing a key role in the Alliance that will deliver the future carrier, and in providing maintenance support to in-service Royal Navy warships through the Surface Ship Support (SSS) Programme and the Warship Support Modernisation Initiative (WSMi).

MOD and BVT are working to establish a new long-term incentive based Terms of Business Agreement (TOBA) which will seek to transform their surface warship business delivering significant benefit to MOD, its industrial partners and taxpayers.

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the warship construction programme; and if he will make a statement. [257878]

Mr. Hutton: Good progress continues to be made across the future warship build programme.

Centred on the Type 45 destroyers, the Astute class submarines, the Future Aircraft Carriers and the Future Surface Combatant, it is providing industry with a strong orderbook which will continue well into the next decade and beyond.

Leader of the House

Departmental Foreign Workers

David Simpson: To ask the Leader of the House how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals are employed by her Office. [256204]

Chris Bryant: The office of the Leader of the House of Commons employs one EU foreign national and no non-EU foreign nationals.

Departmental Plants

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Leader of the House how much her Office has spent on (a) pot plants and (b) cut flowers in each of the last three years. [256118]

Chris Bryant: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons spent £1,872.72 on the provision of plants and flowers during the 2007-08 financial year.

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Following a machinery of government change, information prior to 2007-08 is available only at disproportionate cost.

A decision was taken in January 2009 to terminate the contract for plants and flowers at the earliest possible opportunity.

Members: Allowances

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Tyrie) of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 1W, on Members: allowances, how many requests for advances of communications allowance have been granted to date; and what the reasons for the request for the advance was in each case. [257487]

Chris Bryant: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Tyrie) on 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 1W, in which I answered that no advance from the Communications Allowance had been requested either in the year 2009-10 or the previous year. There have been no requests for advances from the Communications Allowance in the period since this answer.

Prime Minister

Ministers: Pay

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what criteria are used to determine which Ministers receive ministerial salaries and which Ministers receive no salary; and if he will make a statement; [257241]

(2) what percentage of Government Ministers who are unpaid are (a) male and (b) female; and if he will make a statement. [257242]

The Prime Minister: Details of which Ministers are unpaid are a matter of public record and can be found in the Ministerial Appointments press notices issued by my Office. Copies are available in the Library of the House and are also available on the No. 10 website:

All ministerial salaries are paid in accordance with the “Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975”.

Work and Pensions

Benefits Helpline

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will assess the effects of the methods of operation of Benefits Helpline on benefits claimants; and if he will make a statement; [256411]

(2) what representations he has received on the operations of a company called Benefits Helpline; and if he will make a statement. [255784]

Mr. McNulty: The Department for Work and Pensions makes advice on benefits and a wide range of other entitlements easily accessible to everyone through a
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variety of channels including information leaflets, telephone helplines, websites, and through intermediary organisations working closely with us.

These sources of help and information are consistently promoted through the Department for Work and Pensions website, phone books, in Jobcentres and pension centres and by local authorities.

In order to streamline public access to this and other Departments' information, it is now government policy that Departments should use Directgov:

an online, TV and mobile phone service, providing citizens with access to information and services from across Government. This will replace the large numbers of standalone websites that Government currently run. The change is taking place between now and 2011.

We also run many promotional campaigns to ensure that eligible and vulnerable people are aware of their entitlements.

We would always recommend that where people are seeking information on entitlements, they should turn to the relevant Department for Work and Pensions agency or trusted sources of information like Age Concern and the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

We are aware that other organisations promote benefits advice services on a commercial basis and have received a small number of representations. However, these services are not in themselves illegal, and it is the responsibility of the service Regulator to monitor their operation and to take action where necessary to control them.

Carer’s Allowance

Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the number of people in receipt of carer's allowance who are over retirement age; [255725]

(2) how many people were (a) eligible to receive and (b) in receipt of carer's allowance in the last year for which figures are available. [255726]

Jonathan Shaw: The available information is in the following table.

Carer s allowance caseloads: May 2008

Total Pension age

Cases in payment






1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Pension age means women aged 60 and over, and men aged 65 and over.
3. “Cases in payment” shows the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and excludes people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended.
4. “Entitlements” shows the number of people who, following an application for carer's allowance, were assessed as eligible. This figure includes those who receive no actual payment as well as those who are actually receiving benefit.
5. These figures are published on the DWP website at:
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

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