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To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Animal Health Agency will spend in each of the next three years on information technology to support the modernising of working practices and save £7 million, as set out on page 86 of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Autumn Performance Report 2009. [HL3048]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): Animal Health plans to spend £14.2 million in 2010-11 on its IT Change Programme which supports the modernising of working practices. Spend in 2011-12 is planned at £12.1 million, but funding has not yet been agreed and will be subject to the Defra budgetary process. Delivery of the £7 million savings is dependent on the completion of all the modules of the IT Change Programme.
The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): There are considerable resources available to commanding officers to enable them to support service families. These resources are usually co-ordinated by a dedicated unit welfare officer who is able to assess what sort of support is required and then make bespoke arrangements for appropriate provision, accessing relevant service, local authority or third sector specialists where necessary. The resources upon which a commanding officer can draw include:professional social workers;station and unit community groups including HIVE information centres;families welfare grant money to support of families of deployed personnel confidential support linesFamilies Federations; anddedicated support groups for the bereaved (SSAFA-Forces Help).
The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Under the UK-Iraq agreement on training and maritime support, up to 100 UK military personnel may be deployed to Iraq in support of Iraqi navy training. The precise number of Royal Navy personnel involved in the training of the Iraqi navy will fluctuate at any one time and on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including mid-tour rest and recuperation, temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons and the roulement of forces. We do not therefore publish actual figures.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether officer cadets at (a) Britannia Royal Naval College, (b) the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and (c) RAF Cranwell, receive language training in Dari Persian or Pashto. [HL3207]
The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Officer cadets do not receive language training in Dari Persian or Pashto at Britannia Royal Naval College, RMA Sandhurst or RAF Cranwell.
The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): We take our responsibility to injured service personnel very seriously and, regardless of the amount of time served, all service personnel who are medically discharged are entitled to receive a full resettlement package through the MoD's Career Transition Partnership. This consists of time, money for training and facilitated workshops to help enable a seamless transition to civilian life. Furthermore, free lifetime job finding support is available through the Officers Association or the Regular Forces Employment Association.
Additionally, we are currently working with Skill Force, which following a grant of £30,000 from the Ministry of Defence, is delivering a pilot internship programme for personnel recovering from physical and psychological injuries and illness as part of their rehabilitation pathway.
Where an injury or condition prevents resettlement being undertaken while in service, the entitlement can be deferred for up to two years after discharge or transferred to a service-leaver's spouse or partner.
Lord Brett: UK support is channelled through our central contributions to the European Commission and United Nations agencies. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) manages the official camps. UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Population Fund also work with the refugees within the camps or in the surrounding communities. The European Commission is providing financial support.
We have raised the plight of the Rohingyas and their status with the Government of Bangladesh, both bilaterally and in concert with EU partners. Officials from the British high commission in Dhaka, including the high commissioner, have visited the camps for displaced Rohingyas.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Myners on 22 February (WA 174-5), whether they will apply the common law powers permitted by the Ram doctrine to enable Treasury Ministers to repay those retail deposits in the Presbyterian Mutual Society not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme; and what is the total amount paid under the Ram doctrine to United Kingdom depositors in Icelandic banks. [HL2426]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The ministerial working group continues to explore all options in pursuit of mitigating the effects of the collapse of the Presbyterian Mutual Society on its members. Details of the financial support provided to UK banks, including support for retail depositor compensation payouts in Icelandic banks, for the years 2007-08 and 2008-09, are set out in the Treasury's Resource Accounts for 2007-08 (HC 539) and 2008-09 (HC61 1) respectively. Total support to Icelandic banks at 31 March 2009 amounted, at latest estimates subsequently to be revised, to £8.1 billion.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 6 April (HL3057), what are the reduced fees for small and medium-sized enterprises when they apply for authorisation of a critical substance under the European Union Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). [HL3239]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): In order to provide assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in complying with their REACH obligations, reduced fees for authorisation applications and reduced charges for authorisation reviews apply. Currently, these are the same in both cases. The reduced fees/charges are given in Commission Regulation (EC) No 340/2008 as follows:
|Reduced fees/charges for medium enterprises|
|Reduced fees/charges for small enterprises|
|Reduced fees/charges for micro enter rises|
The definitions of medium, small, and micro enterprise are set out in Commission Recommendation 2003/361 /EC of 6 May 2003, and are based on the number of employees together with the company turn-over ceiling or balance-sheet ceiling.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): This is a matter for Ofsted which will reply to the noble Lord as soon as possible. The position in Wales is a matter for the National Assembly.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of China about the discovery of 21 foetuses and baby bodies in the Guangfu river, Jining city; and what response they received. [HL3230]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of China about the one-child policy there; whether their representations covered the demographic effects of the policy; and what response they received. [HL3231]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent representations officials in the British Embassy in China have made to Chinese officials about (a) alleged forced abortion and sterilisation, and (b) birth control quotas in China; what response was received; and whether they will make representations to the Government of China about relaxing population controls. [HL3233]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent representations they have made to the Government of China about the level of public discussion and debate in China about population control policies. [HL3235]
The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): During the war-fighting phase of Op TELIC in Iraq 68 cluster bombs were dropped by the UK; no cluster bombs were used after 4 April 2003. The RAF has target data for all of the cluster bombs dropped.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is committed to the timely provision of appropriate information to aid clearance organisations in their humanitarian work. Since the conflict, the UK has cleared over 1 million items of abandoned and unexploded ordnance, with Royal Engineers also being involved in the marking and fencing of bomblet strikes. Following the conflict, the UK held weekly meetings with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and commercial de-mining organisations in Basra to share information. United Nations Office for Project Services and United Nations Childrens Fund praised the UK for its response and assistance to the local population and its co-operative approach to international organisations and NGOs on de-mining.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 15 March (WA 118), what were the results of the investigations into the cause of the delays in processing the 818 single payment scheme claims; how many of those delays were due to computer problems; and whether the claims have now been processed. [HL3092]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): Of the 818 claims identified with possible computer problems, we have resolved 281 with such problems and these claims have now been fully processed, enabling payment to be made within the payment window.
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