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11 Dec 2007 : Column WS15



11 Dec 2007 : Column WS15

Written Statements

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Armed Forces: Defence Storage and Distribution Agency Regional Distribution Centres

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Bob Ainsworth) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

My right honourable friend the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support (Baroness Taylor) has now approved, effective from 11 December 2007, the early closure of the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA) regional distribution centres (RDCs) at Longmoor, Shomcliffe, Llangennech, Bulford, Catterick, Chilwell, Colchester and Stirling.

Under the Future Defence Supply Chain initiative (FDSCi), the MoD assessed a range of options for managing and operating the defence supply chain, to reduce the cost of ownership, while maintaining or improving service levels, and enhancing operational capability. The DSDA's new plan makes greater use of Donnington and Bicester, cutting out the need for a number of RDCs. Much material will be delivered direct rather than through a regional hub and the plan is more sophisticated in selecting how material flows are routed. The DSDA has also opened a warehouse for fast-moving items at Donnington and more than 50 per cent of all DSDA deliveries will be from this new facility. This will provide the opportunity for material to be delivered direct rather than through an RDC and for flexible decisions to be taken as to whether an item is posted, handled by a parcel or pallet carrier, delivered direct, or delivered as part of a multiple delivery route.

I recognise that this will not be a welcome prospect for those staff who stand to be affected. It is not possible to give an absolute assurance that compulsory redundancies can be avoided, although every effort will be made to do so. The MoD Outplacement Service (MoDOPS) will be available to support staff affected by the closure, offering support with relocation and financial advice. Training will be available to assist staff with the transition to life in the private sector and the services of the MoD welfare organisation will also be available to help staff with personal circumstances.

Consultation with the trade unions has been completed, during which time a counterproposal was received. However, this was not operationally or financially viable. On this basis, I have decided fully to endorse the closures of the RDCs.

Armed Forces: War Pensions

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Derek Twigg) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.



11 Dec 2007 : Column WS16

The new rates of war pensions and allowances proposed from April 2008 are set out in the table below. The annual uprating of war pensions and allowances for 2008 will take place from the week beginning 7 April.



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War Pensions Rates
(Weekly rates unless otherwise shown)
War PensionsRates 2007Rates 2008

Disablement Pension (100% rates)

officer (£ per annum)

7,290.00

7,571.00

other ranks

139.70

145.10

Age allowances

40%-50%

9.40

9.75

over 50% but not over 70%

14.35

14.90

over 70% but not over 90%

20.45

21.25

over 90%

28.70

29.80

Disablement gratuity

specified minor injury (min.)

889.00

924.00

specified minor injury (max.)

6,643.00

6,902.00

unspecified minor injury (min.)

367.00

381.00

unspecified minor injury (max.)

8,637.00

8,974.00

Unemployability allowance

Personal

86.35

89.70

adult dependency increase

48.65

50.55

increase for first child

11.30

11.75

increase for subsequent children

13.30

13.80

Invalidity allowance

higher rate

17.10

17.75

middle rate

11.00

11.40

lower rate

5.50

5.70

Constant attendance allowance

exceptional rate

105.40

109.60

intermediate rate

79.05

82.20

full day rate

52.70

54.80

part day rate

26.35

27.40

Comforts allowance

higher rate

22.60

23.50

lower rate

11.30

11.75

Mobility supplement

50.30

52.25

Allowance for lowered standard of occupation (maximum)

52.68

54.72

Therapeutic earnings limit

4,472.00

4,602.00

Exceptionally severe disablement allowance

52.70

54.80

Severe disablement occupational allowance

26.35

27.40

Clothing allowance (£ per annum)

180.00

187.00

Education allowance (£ per annum) (max)

120.00

120.00

Widow(er)s - private

105.90

110.05

Widow(er)s (other ranks)

105.90

110.05

Widow(er) - Officer (£ p.a. max)

6,525.00

6,779.00

Childless widow(er)s u-40 (other ranks)

25.37

26.36

Childless widow(er)s u-40 (Officer max.£s pa)

6,525.00

6,779.00

Supplementary Pension

70.88

73.64

Age allowance

(a) age 65 to 69

12.10

12.55

(b) age 70 to 79

23.20

24.10

(c) age 80 and over

34.40

35.75

Children's allowance

Increase for first child

16.65

17.30

Increase for subsequent children

18.60

19.35

Orphan's pension

Increase for first child

18.95

19.70

Increase for subsequent children

20.80

21.60

Unmarried dependant living as spouse (max)

103.55

107.70

Rent allowance (maximum)

39.95

41.50

Adult orphan's pension (maximum)

81.35

84.50


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