Skip to main content

Written Statements

Volume 590: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2015

Written Statements

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Defence

Gifting of Equipment (Pakistan)

I have today laid before the House a departmental minute describing a package of surplus counter-improvised explosive device (CIED) equipment which the UK intends to gift to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, at their request.

Pakistan faces a severe threat from IED attacks perpetrated by terrorist groups, and has sought assistance from the UK in tackling this threat and developing the capabilities of its security forces. The UK is delivering a CIED programme to assist Pakistan in establishing a multi-agency capability for tackling IEDs. This package will complement that programme.

Pakistan has a rapidly expanding CIED capability with close to 5,000 practitioners already trained. IEDs are being defeated across the provinces and lives are being saved. Pakistani battalions who benefited from UK support are now operating in counter-terrorism operations in the North Waziristan agency and Pakistan’s Chief of General Staff has reported a noticeable reduction in casualties: UK help is saving lives.

Developing counter-terrorism capability in Pakistan supports UK objectives under the counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST), targets the problem at source and reduces the risk of a terrorist attack against that nation or another, including the UK.

Subject to completion of the departmental minute process, gifting is expected to be undertaken in the first quarter of 2015.

[HCWS185]

War Pensions Scheme (Uprating)

The new rates of pensions and allowances payable under the war pensions scheme proposed from April 2015 are set out in the tables below. The annual uprating of awards and allowances for 2015 will take place from the week beginning 6 April. Rates for 2015 are increasing by 1.2% in line with the September 2014 consumer prices index.

War Pensions Rates

Rates (£)

Rates (£)

(Weekly rates unless otherwise shown)

2014

2015

war pensions

Disablement Pension (100% rates)

officer (£ per annum)

9,189.00

9,298.00

other ranks (weekly amount)

176.10

178.20

Age allowances payable from age 65

40%-50%

11.80

11.95

over 50% but not over 70%

18.15

18.35

over 70% but not over 90%

25.80

26.10

over 90%

36.30

36.70

Disablement gratuity (one-off payment)

specified minor injury (min.)

1,123.00

1,136.00

specified minor injury (max.)

8,374.00

8,474.00

1-5% gratuity

2,800.00

2,834.00

6-14% gratuity

6,225.00

6,300.00

15-19 gratuity

10,887.00

11,018.00

supplementary allowances

Unemployability Allowance

Personal

108.80

110.10

adult dependency increase

60.45

61.20

increase for first child

14.05

14.20

increase for subsequent children

16.55

16.75

Invalidity Allowance

higher rate

22.55

21.80

middle rate

14.00

14.20

lower rate

7.00

7.10

Constant Attendance Allowance

exceptional rate

132.80

134.40

intermediate rate

99.60

100.80

full day rate

66.40

67.20

Part-day rate

33.20

33.60

Comforts Allowance

higher rate

28.60

28.90

lower rate

14.30

14.45

Mobility Supplement

63.40

64.15

Allowance for lowered standard of occupation (maximum)

66.40

67.20

Therapeutic Earnings Limit (annual rate)

5,252.00

5,408.00

Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance

66.40

67.20

Severe Disablement Occupational Allowance

33.20

33.60

Clothing Allowance (annual rate)

227.00

230.00

Education Allowance (annual rate) (max)

120.00

120.00

Widow(er)s benefits

Widow(er)s’—other ranks (basic with children) (weekly amount)

133.55

135.15

Widow(er)—Officer higher rate both wars (basic with children) (£ per annum)

7,102.00

7,187.00

Childless widow(er)s’ u-40 (other ranks) (weekly amount)

31.99

32.37

Widow(er)—Officer lower rate both wars (£ per annum)

2,476.00

2,496.00

Supplementary Pension

89.34

90.41

Age Allowance

(a) age 65 to 69

15.20

15.40

(b) age 70 to 79

29.25

29.60

(c) age 80 and over

43.40

43.90

Children’s Allowance

Increase for first child

20.95

21.20

Increase for subsequent children

23.45

23.75

Orphan’s pension

Increase for first child

23.95

24.25

Increase for subsequent children

26.25

26.55

Unmarried dependant living as spouse (max)

131.20

132.80

Rent Allowance (maximum)

50.30

50.90

Adult orphan’s pension (maximum)

102.60

103.85

[HCWS186]

Transport

National Policy Statement (National Networks)

On 13 January 2015 the House of Commons debated the national policy statement for national networks which I laid for parliamentary approval on 17 December 2014. In the light of the satisfactory completion of that process I am pleased to inform the House that I am today designating it as a national policy statement under the provisions of section 5(4) of the Planning Act 2008.

An effective planning system is crucial to the future timely development of the country’s national networks infrastructure. The designation of this policy statement marks a significant step forward, clarifying what is required to enable the development of major schemes that will alleviate congestion on our roads and overcrowding on our railways, while setting clear requirements on safety, design quality and environmental protection.

[HCWS187]