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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2 THE LEADING U.K. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMPANY
Contact: ps2@btinternet.com

DEFENCE
Afghanistan
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what units are planned to be deployed to Afghanistan in 2006; and on what date. [31421]
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 November 2005]: On current plans, the Headquarters Group of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and supporting forces will deploy to Afghanistan to command the International Security Assistance Force from May 2006 to February 2007. Joint Force Harrier personnel, predominantly from IV (AC) Squadron, Royal Air Force, will remain in Kandahar until February 2006 when they are planned to be relieved by 1 (F) Squadron. Work to prepare for a possible commitment of British forces to Southern Afghanistan in 2006 is also under way but, as I made clear in my recent statement of 14 November 2005, Official Report, columns 41–42WS, no final decisions have yet been made on such a deployment.
Departmental Finance
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the real terms percentage increase in allocated resources for his Department (a) was for the period 1997–98 to 2004–05 and (b) is estimated to be between 2005–06 and 2007–08 (i) for each period and (ii) for each year. [31030]

Mr. Ingram: The period 1997–98 to 2004–05 covers the transition from cash accounting to resource accounting and budgeting (RAB). Using figures on a comparable basis, the defence budget has grown over the period 1997–98 to 2004–05 by 2.6 per cent. in real terms. For the period 2005–06 to 2007–08, the real terms percentage increase in the Defence total departmental expenditure limits is predicted to be 2.7 per cent. The annual average growth for each year of this period is 1.4 per cent.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the programmes covered by the capital commitments which are contracted for, but not provided for, in 2004–05. [32712]
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 9 November 2005, Official Report, column 555W, to the right hon. and learned Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram).
Falkland Islands (Land Mines)
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress is being made in clearing landmines from the Falkland Islands. [31915]
Mr. Ingram: Under the Ottawa Convention, the United Kingdom is required to clear all anti-personnel mines from its territory by March 2009. The only UK territory affected is the Falkland Islands. Discussions are taking place with the Government of Argentina to agree a joint feasibility study, including a field survey of the Islands. A decision on how to proceed will be made once the results of the feasibility study are known.
Landing Ships Dock Project
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the decision was taken to replace the Integrated Project Team leader for the Landing Ships Dock (Auxiliary) project. [29781]
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 21 November 2005]: A decision to change the Integrated Project Team leader for the Landing Ships Dock (Auxiliary) project was made on 28 October 2005.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his reasons were for changing the Integrated Project Team leader for the Landing Ships Dock (Auxiliary) project. [29782]
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 21 November 2005]: It is not Ministry of Defence policy to discuss the specifics of individual official’s appointments.

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his plans to facilitate a national debate on the replacement for Trident. [32351]
John Reid: I have nothing to add to the answer that I gave to the Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Mr. Moore) on 14 October 2005, Official Report, column 619W.
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimates he has made of the likely cost of replacing Trident, broken down by cost o

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