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Armed Forces: Telephone Services

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the weekly allocation of free telephone calls for armed forces’ personnel serving overseas. (236455)

The 30 minutes of free telephone calls each week form part of a comprehensive deployment welfare package, which also includes free mail for packages of up to 2 kg from family and friends and internet access. Personnel will also receive an additional 30 minutes free call time over the Christmas period. Recent attitude surveys conducted among service personnel indicate that they are broadly content with the deployment welfare package although it is kept under constant review. The most recent enhancement to the package was the doubling of the families’ welfare grant, effective from 1 November.