|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ivor Caplin) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
On the 22 July 2004, (Official Report, Commons, col. 62WS), my honourable friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans announced to the House the publication of a consultation document entitled Safeguards for Reservists and their Employers: Proposed Amendments
26 Jan 2005 : Column WS54
to the Schemes for Financial Assistance Awards for Reservists and their Employers setting out our proposals to update the financial assistance arrangements for reservists who are called-out for permanent service. This received a wide circulation and copies were placed in the Library of the House. Altogether 4,156 visits were recorded to the website including the consultation document before the consultation period closed on 15 October 2004. One hundred and thirty-nine responses were recorded to the online survey and a further 66 individuals responded to the consultation by separate e-mail or by post, while 922 people downloaded the consultation document. An analysis of the responses is available on the MoD website at www.financialassistance.mod.uk/files/pdf/Consultation Results.
It is clear from the responses received that our proposals will meet the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of those who responded to the consultation. I am therefore today publishing the regulatory impact assessment (RIA). This outlines the impact our proposals would have on reservists and employers. The document will receive a similar circulation to the original consultation and copies will be placed in the Library of the House. The RIA will also be available electronically both on the consultations section of the main Ministry of Defence website at www.mod.uk/consultations/consultations.htm and on the SaBRE website accessible from its front-page at www.sabre.mod.uk/.
We are inviting comments on the RIA over the next four weeks, with the consultation period ending on 22 February. Subject to any responses, I anticipate being able to introduce the replacement regulations in March 2005.
As part of our normal process of keeping force levels under review, the GOC Northern Ireland, in consultation with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Chief Constable of the PSNI, has concluded that one of his GB-based battalions can be removed from his command as it is not required for routine support to the police in Northern Ireland. Accordingly, the battalion known as Mainland Battalion 1 (MLD 1), the companies of which have not been routinely based in the Province, can be removed from the command of the GOC NI to CinC LAND on 26 January 2005.
This is a prudent measure to provide military support to the police efficiently and does not affect the Army's ability to support the PSNI in countering the threat from terrorism and preventing potential public disorder. We will keep force levels in Northern Ireland under regular review to match the support required by the PSNI.
26 Jan 2005 : Column WS55
Lord Bassam of Brighton: An updated measurement of the level of compliance with the regulatory impact assessment process is today being placed on the website of the Cabinet Office regulatory impact unit.
26 Jan 2005 : Column WS56
An exercise in November 2004 to establish a snapshot of the level of compliance, based on consultations carried out in the three months to 16 November 2004, showed a compliance rate of 100 per cent. We will continue to keep this under regular review and will report back to Parliament as appropriate.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|