Previous Section Index Home Page

24 Nov 2009 : Column 51W—continued

24 Nov 2009 : Column 52W

Under armed forces legislation, it is not always possible for the full amount of a deductions from earnings request to be taken from a serviceperson's salary. Under the Minimum Drawing Rate regulations, no individual can have more than 50 per cent. of their net pay deducted in respect of certain items, including deduction of earnings requests. Individuals will, nonetheless, remain liable for the amounts as ordered. Such arrears must either be cleared via private arrangements, or by continued monthly deductions from salary at the end of the period of liability.

Armed Forces: Recruitment

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of progress towards his Department's recruitment targets for the armed forces in the (a) short and (b) medium term; and how many personnel have been recruited into the armed forces from non-Commonwealth countries in each of the last three years. [300387]

Mr. Kevan Jones: Recruiting targets are determined annually based on current and forecast outflow rates and liability, and recruitment to all three services continues to improve. Targeted national, regional and local level recruiting campaigns coupled with the current economic climate are factors contributing to increased interest.

Shortages in some key trades remain a concern. This is being addressed through retention incentives, increased recruiting, and by restructuring the services to improve effectiveness.

Manning Balance is defined in the MOD's public service agreement as between -2 per cent. and +1 per cent. of the requirement. The Army has moved into Manning Balance and the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are both forecast to move into Manning Balance during 2010.

With the exception of the citizens of the Republic of Ireland and Nepalese citizens recruited into the Royal Gurkha Rifles we do not recruit outside of the Commonwealth.

Gurkha intake was fixed at 230 personnel over the previous three financial years 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09.

The following table provides the number of other personnel recruited into the UK Regular Forces who register a non-Commonwealth nationality.









Notes: 1. Figures have been rounded to 10. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in "5" have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias. 2. Availability of data has been affected by the introduction of the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system. Figures for 2006-07 exclude the RAF and Army figures for 2006-07 are for the 11-month period from 1 April 2006 to 28 February 2007. 3. All figures are provisional and subject to review due to ongoing validation of data from JPA.

24 Nov 2009 : Column 53W

Armed Forces: Waste Disposal

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential effectiveness of pyrolysis waste disposal systems generating heat and electricity whilst troops are on operations; and how wet and dry waste is disposed of during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. [300501]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The use of pyrolysis waste disposal systems on operations to generate heat and electricity may not be viable, due to the low electrical power output such systems can generate and the difficulty in utilising heat energy in hot desert environments. MOD is however, committed to investigating this and is conducting a study into the quantity and type of waste produced in theatre, which will enable the Department to determine the best energy from waste solution.

Currently dry waste in theatre is sorted and plastics and metals are recycled by local companies. The rest is incinerated in theatre. MOD is in the process of supplying Membrane Biological Reactors in order to treat sewage and it is investigating the re-use of grey water from showers.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured vehicles of each type were classified as (a) in service, (b) fit for purpose and (c) not in service on the latest date for which figures are available. [301595]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The numbers of armoured vehicles of each type classified as 'in service', 'fit for purpose' and 'out of service' are provided in the following table.

Significant quantities of Mastiff, Vector, Bulldog and Snatch are currently in the process of withdrawal to the UK following the cessation of operations in Iraq.

Vehicle In service Fit for purpose Out of service





Challenger 2












FV 430 (Mk2 and Bulldog)




































Snatch 2 (including variants)












24 Nov 2009 : Column 54W

Defence Estates: Sales

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 12 November 2009, Official Report, columns 702-3W, on Defence Estates: sales, how much of the total receipts accrued in 2007-08 have been allocated for the purposes of improving armed forces accommodation. [301481]

Mr. Kevan Jones: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 November 2009, Official Report, column 222W to the hon. Member for Westbury (Dr. Murrison).

Departmental Assets

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assets of his Department are planned to be sold in each year from 2009-10 to 2013-14; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; what the expected revenue from each such sale is; and if he will make a statement. [300198]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) keeps its estate under constant review to meet present and planned future requirements, with a view to disposing of surplus assets as quickly as possible. A list of the sites comprising the present and potential future programme is available in the Library of the House.

Details of all MOD holdings over £1 million, including sites in disposal, together with their latest asset valuations can be found in Chapter Seven of the National Asset Register, on HM Treasury's website:

Details of all property below £1 million in value could be provided only with disproportionate cost.

Receipts from individual sales depend on market conditions at the time of sale and other factors. Where pre-sale valuations have been obtained, then release ahead of the sale could, in any case, influence the market and they are thus regarded as commercially confidential.

Nuclear Submarines: Decommissioning

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much had been spent on the submarine dismantling project on the latest date for which figures are available. [301596]

Mr. Quentin Davies: Up to and including 31 March 2009, the latest date for which figures are available, spending on the Submarine Dismantling Project had been £3.15 million, excluding staff costs.

At this time the project was still known as the ISOLUS (Interim Storage of Laid-Up Submarines) project.

Territorial Army: Finance

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to publish the Territorial Army budget for financial year 2010-11. [300539]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 23 November 2009]: The Army budget for 2010-11 will be published in the Defence Estimates in spring 2010 following approval in
24 Nov 2009 : Column 55W
the House of Commons. However, this will not separately identify individual cost areas within the total budget; the ethos is of one Army-Regular and Territorial. The financial systems do not allow costs such as stock, ammunition and rations to be separately identified from those incurred by Regular units.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Departmental Official Cars

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of providing official cars for the use of (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the last 12-months. [301175]

Chris Bryant: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made by the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Gillingham (Paul Clark), on 16 July 2009, Official Report, column 80WS.

International Development

Departmental Manpower

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff of each grade work at each location on services which his Department has contracted out; what the (a) contractors and (b) services provided are in each case; what the length of each contract is; and what union recognition agreements are in place with each contractor. [301601]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) has contracts with third party suppliers for a number of services which are carried out on DFID premises. Information on the name of contractors and the services provided is available on the DFID website at:

It is not possible to provide the number of staff broken down by civil service grades. Union recognition agreements are a matter between our suppliers and their employees.

Latin America: Overseas Aid

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has provided to each south and central American country in each year since 2006. [300353]

Mr. Michael Foster: Information on the Department for International Development's (DFID) aid to all developing countries is available in the publication Statistics on International Development, which is available in the Library or online at:

Details of funding in south and central America can be found at:

24 Nov 2009 : Column 56W

Overseas Aid

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps have been taken to provide information for the public on the allocation of funds from the public purse to overseas aid projects. [300663]

Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) has published summary information on each of its overseas aid projects via its website since August 2009. We are working on arrangements and a time table for publishing further details of our projects. In doing so, we need to balance our commitment to transparency with the need to protect sensitive information, and the cost and practicality of publishing information in a usable format.

In October 2009 DFID also published "Statistics on International Development" which contains summary data tables on the destination and purpose of all UK official expenditure on international development in each of the last five years. A copy is available in the Library as well as at:

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the time taken between the commitment and delivery of funds was in respect of each pledge made by his Department in each of the last five years. [301474]

Mr. Michael Foster: This information cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

Next Section Index Home Page