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23 Mar 2009 : Column 12W—continued


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many apprenticeships places there have been in his Department in each of the last three years; in what areas of operations those places have been; and how many people his Department has provided work experience for in each such year. [262393]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The MOD is the largest public sector employer of apprentices in the UK. In the last three reporting year periods the following apprentice place completions have been achieved within the Department:

Apprentice place completions








The largest area of operations for completions is within the engineering sector, with other areas including: agriculture; business administration; construction; health and public services; hospitality; transportation; retailing and customer services.

Work experience is not part of the departmental plan for apprenticeship delivery. Estimates of wider departmental work experience activities could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Families

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent steps the Government have taken to assist service widows and widowers. [263456]

Mr. Kevan Jones [holding answer 16 March 2009]: The Government are committed to supporting bereaved families and we have been working in conjunction with both the Royal British Legion and the War Widows Association to identify areas in which we can enhance the support we provide.

CRUSE Bereavement has recently received funding to enable them to train volunteers to address the specific needs of bereaved service families.

Armed Forces: Northern Ireland

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel were deployed in Northern Ireland on the latest date for which figures are available. [265120]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Following the end of Operation BANNER in July 2007 the Joint Declaration provided authority for no more than 5,000 troops resident in Northern Ireland. There are normally around 4,500 troops resident in Northern Ireland.

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Armed Forces: Pay

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average pay is for (a) officers and (b) other ranks at each level in the armed services. [264965]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information requested is provided in the table.

The figures include all regular officers and other ranks on the main pay scales. Regular officers and other ranks who are on separate bespoke pay spines, e.g. chaplains, medical and dental officers, professional aviators, officers promoted from the ranks, as well as reservists, are excluded. While Army ranks are shown, the figures also incorporate their equivalent ranks in the RN and RAF.

The averages are based on pay rates for 2008-09 and numbers as at January 2009.

Other ranks are allocated to either the higher or lower pay spines in accordance with their trade.

Rank Average pay (£)


Chief of the Defence Staff




Lieutenant General


Major General






Lieutenant Colonel






Lieutenant/2(nd) Lieutenant


Other ranks—higher pay spine

Warrant Officer 1


Warrant Officer 2 and Staff Sergeant






Lance Corporal and Private


Other ranks—lower pay spine

Warrant Officer 1


Warrant Officer 2 and Staff Sergeant






Lance Corporal and Private


Other ranks—personnel under training

New Entrant


Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the minimum pay (a) range and (b) level is for armed forces personnel serving on the frontline in Iraq or Afghanistan. [264966]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The minimum pay range for a trained service person serving in Iraq or Afghanistan is currently £16,227 to £27,599 depending on service, rank, length of service and trade. Details of this and other
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pay ranges for all service personnel up to the rank of Brigadier and equivalent are contained in the 37(th)- Report—2008 of the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

In addition to basic pay, service personnel deployed on a six month operational tour in Iraq or Afghanistan will receive a tax free operational allowance of £2,380 plus a longer separation allowance worth a minimum of £1,161.

Armed Forces: Deployment

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel are stationed overseas, broken down by location. [265133]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Figures for the number of service personnel stationed overseas can be found in table 1.1 of Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 10: UK Regular Forces stationed location. TSP 10 is published quarterly. The most recent publication shows figures at 1 October 2008 and can be found at:

Defence Equipment

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department takes to prevent delays in the delivery of equipment affecting the safety of the armed forces in theatre. [264446]

Mr. Hutton: The Government place the highest priority on the safety and security of our servicemen and women while on operations. If the arrival of a new piece of equipment to theatre is delayed, then commanders on the ground will either continue using existing equipment coupled with the appropriate tactics, techniques and procedures until the new capability is available; or, adapt operations to achieve the same aim while avoiding exposing troops to disproportionate risk.

It should be noted that, even once new equipment has been delivered, technology alone cannot guarantee the safety of deployed troops. It is their adherence to the correct tactics, techniques and procedures that provide the greatest assurance of their safety and these are constantly revised in line with experience and any new developments in the enemy’s tactics.

Departmental Bank Services

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with which banks his Department has or has had contracts for the provision of financial advice, for the financial year 2008-09. [262761]

Mr. Hutton: In the past, the MOD has contracted with banks for financial advice to support private finance and partnering projects and reviews of future models for defence business. But we hold no current contracts of this sort centrally. Information on any other contracts that may have been awarded to banks for financial advice is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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Departmental Public Consultation

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many public consultations his Department has conducted in the last 12 months; how long each consultation was open for; how many responses were received in each case; and what the cost of conducting each consultation was. [259699]

Mr. Kevan Jones: There have been four Ministry of Defence public consultations (as listed on the MOD internet site) over the last 12 months. These consultations consist of:

Information about the cost of conducting these consultations is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Recruitment

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 30W, on departmental recruitment, what estimate he has made of the annual salary cost of new (a) permanent, (b) temporary and (c) agency staff recruited by his Department in each year since 2005-06. [264310]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The annual salary costs for permanent and temporary staff employed by the Department in each year since 2005-06 are published in departmental annual reports and accounts. We are unable to identify the costs of newly recruited staff separately. Salary costs of agency staff are met by their employing agencies and not by the Department.

Departmental Temporary Employment

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's policy is on the renewal of the contracts of (a) temporary and (b) agency staff. [264312]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The recruitment of temporary staff is governed by the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Code. Agency workers are used as an interim measure for periods of up to 11 months to fill complemented and funded posts that cannot be filled by temporary promotion or internal posting or other recruitment action. In exceptional cases temporary staff may be extended up to a maximum of 24 months.

Departmental Training

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 1 January 2009, Official Report, column 1994W, on departmental training, which Ministers attended the pre-deployment training in preparation for visits to Iraq and Afghanistan; and how much that training cost. [265663]

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Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer the Under-Secretary of State gave on 10 March 2009, Official Report, column 235W, to the hon. Member for St. Albans (Anne Main).

Departmental Translation Services

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many language translators are employed in each of his Department’s executive agencies; and what the cost of translating services provided by such people was in the latest period for which information is available. [257150]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: None of the Department’s Agencies employs language translators and therefore incurred no costs on employing such people. Information on non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) is not held by the Ministry of Defence but by the NDPBs themselves.

EU Battlegroups

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the Government’s participation in the permanent structural co-operation framework foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty. [265524]

Mr. Hutton: No such estimate has been made. There have been no decisions on the scope of permanent structured co-operation, nor on possible UK participation, in the event that the Lisbon Treaty is ratified by all 27 EU member states.

Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has given to the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society Combat Stress in each year since 2005. [265135]

Mr. Kevan Jones: Funds are provided through the War Pensions Scheme’s discretionary power to meet the cost of any necessary expenses in respect of medical, surgical or rehabilitative treatment of ex-members of the armed forces that arise from a disablement due to service before 6 April 2005 where it is not provided for under other UK legislation. This includes the individual costs of war pensioners undergoing “remedial treatment” at homes run by Combat Stress for conditions related to their individual pensioned disablement and of related expenses such as travel costs. The table shows the funding received by Combat Stress under this provision. The funding figure for 2008-09 is not yet available.

Income received by Combat Stress to defray individual treatment expenses

£ million







Combat Stress receives separate funding from the Scottish Executive for war pensioners’ resident in Scotland who receive treatment at Hollybush House.

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