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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 November 2009, Official Report, column 153W, on European Defence Agency, with which Capability Development Plan programmes the UK is involved, what the monetary value of each such programme is; and what the nature is of the UK's involvement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: I meet regularly with representatives of the Royal British Legion. Most recently, these meetings have concentrated on, among other things, Royal British Legion's involvement as a member of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Review's Independent Scrutiny Group; the launch of the Army Recovery Capability; and the launch of the Welfare Pathway initiative.
This demonstrates that the Royal British Legion remains a key partner in the Government's work to ensure that former service personnel receive the services, benefits and respect they deserve. I would like to pay tribute to all the work they do in support of the armed services family.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department provides to military personnel upon discharge with regard to (a) employment needs, (b) housing needs and (c) financial planning advice; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The National Audit Office report "Leaving The Services" of 2007 acknowledged the success of the resettlement programme which found that 94 per cent. of those seeking work who used the career transition partnership resettlement services were in paid employment within six months of leaving the armed forces. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Defence recognises that making the transition from the armed forces into civilian life can be daunting.
Individual employment needs are identified from a mandatory interview with a trained service resettlement adviser who is able to signpost to a number of organisations and services ranging from the 'flexible new deal' programme available at Jobcentre Plus through to workshops and training delivered through the career transition partnership, a partnering arrangement with a leading specialist outplacement company. Furthermore, lifetime job finding support is available through the Officers' Association or the Regular Forces Employment Association.
For housing, all service personnel can attend presentations delivered by the Joint Service Housing Advice Office throughout the country and overseas. The "Options for Housing" presentation includes financial advice for housing options and accessing the Key Worker Living Scheme, entitlement to which has been extended for a year after discharge, in line with our Service Personnel Command Paper (7424) commitment. We have also removed the local connection criteria that treated service personnel unfairly when accessing social housing. For single personnel, SPACES (Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services) aims to assist single service leavers with securing accommodation. Our latest project "The Beacon" in Catterick complements Mike Jackson House in Aldershot and the Galleries in Richmond, which help us to reduce the potential of a single person leaving the armed forces becoming homeless.
Financial planning advice is provided through the Financial Aspects of Resettlement Briefing by the Forces Pension Society. This advises all service leavers throughout the country and overseas on matters ranging from the Armed Forces Pension Schemes through to debt counselling. The recent review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme recommended that for those who receive compensation, there needs to be better guidance and/or access to independent financial advice to allow for informed decisions. The Government have accepted all recommendations in full.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the 1999 protocol between the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff and the Director General of the Prison Service on the identification of former service personnel in prison to link them with their former regiment upon release is still in force; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: We continue to work closely with the Ministry of Justice and the third sector to raise awareness of veterans in prison to the help and support available to them and to their families, while they serve their sentence and as they prepare for release. The Veterans In Custody Support Service, for example, is designed so that prison staff can quickly identify veterans in prison and refer them to the various support organisations available to assist them, including the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. The agency's website, "Veterans: UK", provides additional links to further organisations, including regimental associations. Through this service, veterans are encouraged and assisted in seeking the necessary support to help address their needs.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there is a minimum length of time that must be served by military personnel to qualify for entitlement to support services provided by his Department upon discharge. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: There is no minimum length of time that must be served by military personnel to qualify for entitlement to some form of support services provided by the Ministry of Defence upon discharge. In order to reflect the differing needs of service personnel, the longer that is served the greater the amount of time that is allocated to enable resettlement activity. The level of support needed and given for those that have served for a relatively short period of time, and who therefore have more recent experience of life outside the armed forces, is less than someone who has spent their working life in service. However, all service personnel are entitled to receive lifetime job finding support through either the Officers' Association or the Regular Forces Employment Association.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the budget for support services offered by his Department to military personnel upon discharge has been in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The information is not held in the format requested. Only those costs relating to the contract held between the MOD and Right Management Ltd., a specialist outplacement company, are held centrally. The following table provides information on the amount expended, which reflects the number of service leavers taking advantage of the resettlement opportunities available.
|Financial year||Total contract payments (£ million)|
Other costs attributable to resettlement, such as the staffing costs for the Resettlement Information Service or the travel and subsistence for the service leaver, is not held centrally and could be provided only from a search of manual records at disproportionate cost.
On 6 January 2010, Official Report, columns 6-7WS, my hon. Friend the Minister for the National Offender Management Service and I announced the results of the joint work by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice to determine the number of veterans in prison in England and Wales. The Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) organisation within the MOD have estimated that almost 3 per cent. of the prison population in England and Wales are veterans.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the total expenditure under the defence budget of the military presence in the Falkland Islands since 1982; and what estimate he has made of such expenditure in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. 
|Financial year||£ million|
From 1983-84 to 1989-90 you will note two figures are available. The higher figure includes garrison costs, the cost of replacing capital equipment lost and residual campaign costs associated with the Falkland conflict. The lower figure reflects just garrison costs.
There is some variation between years caused by what categories of expenditure were included. For example, in recent years figures do not include military equipment, military personnel pay, service children's education facilities, estate works and maintenance, IT and communication, maritime visits or air charter. Costs associated with these activities are met by other top level budget holders. The MOD's core budget is separated into eight top level budget holders (TLBs), each responsible for delivering individual military objectives. Within these TLBs the budget is not routinely allocated in terms of regions, but in terms of categories of expenditure. To provide the level of detailed breakdown of these categories in relation to the Falkland Islands would be of disproportionate cost.
The reason for the lower figures since 2006-07 is due to a change in MOD accounting policy, whereby reporting fixed asset depreciation costs and the cost of capital on fixed assets are recorded elsewhere.
|HMS Gannet Search and Rescue|
|Calendar year||SAR callouts||Persons assisted|
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) civilian and (b) service staff have been employed at HMS Gannet, Royal Navy Unit Prestwick in each of the last five years. 
|Manning levels at HMS Gannet|
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