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20 Mar 13. Budget 2013: Defence Aspects. In his Budget Statement (20 Mar 13), the Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed that Service and Government personnel serving in Cyprus “will be protected in full from any tax on their deposits”. The Chancellor also mentioned that Service personnel will be exempt from changes to ‘progression pay’ (i.e. automatic increases connected with length of service in a rank). X-factor payments associated with the pay review (Item 9) are to be increased from 1 May 13. Figures released in Budget 2013 (the Red Book) show the MoD Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL), which are also expressed as a percentage of Total Managed Expenditure (TME) in the Table below:- MoD Budget Allocations
£m
Estimate 2012/13 Plan 2013/14 Plan 2014/15

Resource DEL 27,100 26,500 24,500
Capital DEL 7,400 9,800 9,000
Total DEL 34,500 36,300 33,500
% TME 5.1% 5.0% 4.6%
The Budget for 2013/14 includes an estimate of the initial allocation from the Special Reserve for the additional cost of Operations (i.e. Afghanistan). No such allocation has yet been made for 2014/15. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/13, 25 Mar 13)

18 Mar 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. L/Cpl J Ashworth, 1st Bn Grenadier Guards, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in the Nahr-e-Saraj District on 13 Jun 12. (MoD, 18 Mar 13.)
UK training for the Afghan National Security Forces is delivered as part of the NATO training mission. The UK’s £7.1m assistance to the Ministry of the Interior includes an element of promoting human rights in the security sector and protecting women from violence. (Written Answer (WA), 18 Mar 13.)
The MoD is considering how to make “appropriate provision to support locally employed civilians” as the combat mission in Afghanistan is drawn down. (WA, 18 Mar 13.)
The UK operates the Reaper remotely piloted air system (RPAS) in Afghanistan in co-operation with the US Air Force. Reaper is the only UK RPAS that is operated with an international partner. (WA, 19 Mar 13.)
Decisions on which equipment and material will be returned to the UK are taken on a case-by-case basis; the MoD is taking a proactive and responsible approach. (WA, 19 Mar 13.)
Afghan Security Forces are now leading 80% of all security Operations in Afghanistan and are due to take lead responsibility for combat Operations by this Summer. The role of UK personnel is changing from a combat role to training and advising the Afghan Security Forces. The UK will continue to support governance and development in Afghanistan through the next decade. (FCO, 21 Mar 13.)
Comment: The final entry above is extracted from the Foreign Secretary’s latest Quarterly Statement on Afghanistan, which is also recorded in ‘Hansard’ for 21 Mar 13, starting in Column 1077. The previous Quarterly Statement was made by the Defence Secretary on 19 Dec 12. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/13, 25 Mar 13)

18 Mar 13. Mali: OP NEWCOMBE. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (18 Mar 13) that there are some 100 personnel in Mali, Chad and Senegal who are supporting Operations in Mali. The precise number of personnel fluctuates on a daily basis.
Comment: The Minister also said that Service personnel on a permanent basis in associated countries are: Algeria – one; Libya – six; Morocco – two; Nigeria – three and Sudan – two. These personnel are employed in a number of roles including diplomatic representation and logistic support to Operations. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, I

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