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"Fit for Task" has been interpreted as fit to deploy for any form of duty on deployment, including personnel listed as having limited deployability. Data are calculated from Personnel Unable to Deploy (PUD) which is derived from unit returns and includes Gurkha manpower. As at 1 January 2010, Infantry Fit for Task strength was 20,439. Royal Armoured Corps Fit for Task strength was 4,475. No Fit for Task data are available prior to 2007. Similar figures for other corps are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what part of his Department is to provide the support for operational design presently given by the Defence Academy's Advanced Research and Assessment Group following its closure, with particular reference to operational support for UK intervention in Afghanistan. 
Bill Rammell: The Defence Academy's Research and Assessment Branch (R and AB) formally known as Advanced Research and Assessment Group has never provided extensive or critical support to operational design.
The Ministry of Defence Operations Directorate, which comprises both civilians and military staff, has and will continue to provide advice to Ministers and senior officers and officials within MOD and across Government on strategy and policy for operations. In the case of Afghanistan, the Operations Directorate
works closely with other teams both within MOD and across other Government Departments, e.g. Department for International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Cabinet Office, in providing advice.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in his Department received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months; what expenditure his Department incurred in providing such coaching; and in what languages such coaching was provided. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: No Ministers have received any coaching in foreign languages over the past 12 months. Information on civil servants is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions applications for employment in (a) the Ministry of Defence and (b) the Armed Forces have not passed beyond vetting procedures due to (i) suspected al-Qaeda sympathies and (ii) other suspected extremist views in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The number of veterans in prison in England and Wales, which has been estimated at just over 2,200, was determined by matching a database of all remand and sentenced prisoners aged 18 and over from the Ministry of Justice, around 81,000 offenders as at November 2009, against a database of Service leavers (Regulars only) from my Department, some 1.3 million records. The variables available for matching were surname, forename, middle name, date of birth and gender.
http://www.dasa.mod.uk/applications/newWeb/www/index .php ?page=48&thiscontent=540&pubType=3&date=2010-01-25&disText=Single%20Report&from=historic&topDate =2010-01-25 &PublishTime=16:00:00
Mr. Kevan Jones: No. Membership of the Met Office Review Group has remained the same since it was established and comprises of officials from Ministry of Defence, Met Office, Shareholder Executive and HM Treasury.
Mr. Kevan Jones: Details of the remuneration of the Met Office's Executive Directors are disclosed in the Remuneration Report in the Met Office Annual Report and Accounts. This shows that in 2008-09, four members of the Executive were paid more than £100,000. Outside of the Executive, no Met Office staff are paid more than £100,000.
Bill Rammell [holding answer 11 March 2010]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Ivan Lewis) on 11 March 2010, Official Report, column 428W.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the concept design for the Trident successor submarines to be finalised; and what effect the delay in this process will have on the timetable for the delivery of the Trident successor submarines. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 11 March 2010]: We need a few more months to ensure we take design decisions based on robust information. We do not expect this extension of the concept phase to affect the timetable for delivery of the successor submarine.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the number of claimants of employment and support allowance who have moved into paid employment in the last 12 months. 
Today there are 900,000 fewer pensioners living in relative poverty than in 1997. We continue to look at ways to further improve pension credit take up and have taken forward radical reforms which will deliver a fairer, more generous state pension and enable millions more to save for their retirement.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 8 March 2010, Official Report, columns 76-77W, on the Pension Service: Torbay, whether she plans to provide additional support to Age Concern Torbay to enable it to provide face-to-face advice surgeries. 
Angela Eagle: PDCS Local Service is working closely with Age Concern in Torbay in order to offer a range of services to pensioners in the Torbay area. The Age Concern office is an accredited alternative office, which offers customers an alternative channel to access benefits and services.
PDCS Local Service provides additional support to Age Concern by undertaking regular reviews and delivering training sessions for staff. This enables Age Concern staff to be accredited to accept claims from people aged 60 or over for Social Security benefits, or from a person under age 60 for disability and carers benefits.
The PDCS Local Service manager in the area regularly meets with the manager of Age Concern Torbay to discuss the joint service offering and explore ways in which Local Service and Age Concern can work together in partnership to their mutual benefit to offer access to services in the community.
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will review the requirement that a carer must provide at least 35 hours of care a week to receive the carer's allowance for the purposes of taking into account the work of young carers. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Government acknowledged in the revised National Carer Strategy, published in June 2008, that the current system of carers' benefits is not flexible enough to adapt to the wide variety of circumstances, responsibilities and needs that carers face.
The 10-year strategy has a long-term commitment to review the structure of benefits available to carers in the context of wider benefit reform and the fundamental review of the care and support system.
It highlighted, as a priority, that children and young people will be protected from inappropriate caring and have the support they need to learn, develop and thrive, and to enjoy positive childhoods. We are committed to young carers having the same access to education, career and life choices as their peers and to enabling and encouraging them to attend and enjoy school and further or higher education.
The Government's vision for young carers is one where active prevention-protecting young people from falling into inappropriate caring-is the priority and a guiding principle behind the planning and delivery of services to support them and their families.
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the carer's allowance on the standard of living of carers and their dependants. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department for Work and Pensions has commissioned the Centre for Research into Care, Labour and Equalities, based at the University of Leeds, to conduct a detailed investigation into the circumstances of carer's allowance recipients. This involves a survey of 1,600 carers who receive the allowance, followed by in-depth interviews and focus group meetings with 90 individuals, selected as representative of the overall carer's allowance population, as well as discussions with professionals working with these customers. We expect to publish the research in summer 2010.
The Department for Work and Pensions is also assisting the Department of Health in carrying out a large-scale survey of carers in England. This includes a number of questions designed to yield information about carer's allowance recipients. Headline results are expected in July 2010, with a full report in autumn 2010.
In addition to carer's allowance, carers on low incomes can also receive a carer premium or additional amount for carers with income-related benefits such as income support and pension credit. The premium has been progressively increased from £14.15 a week in April 2000 to its current level of £29.50.
We are also providing further help for carers who are able to combine some paid employment with their caring responsibilities by increasing the carer's allowance weekly earnings limit from £95 to £100 in April 2010.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the monetary value of (a) claimed and (b) unclaimed council tax benefit by each client group in 2008-09. 
|Family type||Total amount claimed||Total range unclaimed|
National Statistics series 'Income Related Benefits: Estimates of Take-Up'
The Department occupies the vast majority of its properties under the terms of a PFI contract for which it pays a unitary charge in return for fully fitted and serviced accommodation. The unitary charge includes works carried out over the life cycle of
the accommodation which contain an element of refurbishment that cannot be disaggregated from overall expenditure.
Some refurbishments are not covered by the unitary charge and are funded separately as capital expenditure, which would include major projects, and the fit out of new buildings. Expenditure increased from 2002 when the Department embarked on a major programme funded by the Treasury to improve the services delivered to the public, including those provided by Jobcentre Plus, the Pension Service and Debt Management Services. The Department's expenditure on these major refurbishment projects since its creation in 2001 is set out in the following table.
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