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Written Ministerial Statements

Thursday 10 November 2005


Battle Honour Awards (Operation Telic)

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): In June 2005 Her Majesty The Queen graciously approved the award of a theatre honour ("Iraq 2003") and the battle honour ("Al Basrah") for units of the British Army. Subsequently, individual regiments and corps applied to the Army Honours and Distinctions Committee for the award of these Honours. Following receipt of the committee's recommendations, the Executive Committee of the Army Board has sought, and obtained, Her Majesty's gracious approval for the following awards to be made.

The following Regiments and Corps are to be awarded the Theatre Honour ("Iraq 2003"):

The following Regiments and Corps are to be awarded the battle honour "Al Basrah":

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Student Finance

The Minister for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning (Bill Rammell): The regulatory impact assessment that was published alongside the Higher Education Act 2004 contained estimates of the fee income for the Higher Education sector and the costs of student grants and loans. These estimates were updated on 23 March 2005, Official Report, column 71WS. The figures below are a further update of the March statement. This latest update takes account of latest RAB charges, devolution of student support to Wales from academic year 06/07, updated student numbers and decisions about household income thresholds for the new maintenance grant for 2006–07, announced on 14 July 2005, Official Report, column 35WS. The latest RAB charges from 06/07 are 21 per cent. for maintenance loans and 33 per cent. for fee loans.
Table 1: Fee income for higher education providers

Fee income from standard fee (based on standard fee 2006–07 fee of £1,200)£900 million
Additional fee income from variable fees (based on 91 per cent. of universities charging full £3,000 fee)£1,350 million
Total£2,250 million

Table 2: Cost of student support

New grant of £2,700£860 million
Maintenance loans£510 million
Fee Loans£600 million

Table 3: Level of support to individual students: full-time students in Academic Year 06/07

Maintenance LoansLoan rate
Full Year rates
Students living at home£3,415
Students living away from home in London£6,170
Students living away from home outside London£4,405
Final year rates
Students living at home£3,085
Students living away from home in London£5,620
Students living away from home outside London£4,080
Maintenance GrantGrant rate
New Students with household income of £17,500 or less£2,700
New Students with household income between £17,501–£37,425Partial grant
Loans for Tuition FeesLoan rate
New studentsUp to £3,000
Continuing studentsUp to £1,200

1. Fee income figures rounded to the nearest £50 million. Remaining costs have been rounded to the nearest £10 million. Both are given in steady state 2006–07 terms. 2. The forecasts are based on RAB charges under a 2.2 per cent. discount rate of 21 per cent. for maintenance loans and 33 per cent. for fee loans. The RAB charge is an estimate of the percentage of
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the face value of loans issued in a given year which reflects the resource cost over the expected life of the loan to the Government of making the loans. The RAB charge is made up of a) the face value of loans issued that are not expected to be repaid due to low income, death of the borrower, etc, and b) the net present value of the interest subsidy on loans that are repaid. There is an interest subsidy as borrowers pay zero real interest and the Government's current published discount rate in resource accounts is 2.2 per cent. Changes to the discount rate therefore cause changes to the RAB charges, and to the resource costs of student loans. 3. The maintenance loan forecast assumes an 82 per cent. take-up. 4. Fee loan forecasts are based on the assumption that 9 per cent. of students are charged a fee of £2,000 and 91 per cent. of students are charged a fee of £3,000. Average fee for new students will be £2,910. The forecasts also assume 80 per cent. take-up of fee deferral. 5. New grant forecasts reflect policy announcements on 14 July 2005. 6. Forecasts now exclude costs of student support for Welsh domicile students, following decisions about devolution of student support to Wales. 7. Table 3 refers to full-time, undergraduate students only. Means-testing arrangements for the Maintenance Grant and Student Loan Rates for 2006–07 were announced in a written statement, placed in the House on 14 July. Maintenance Loan entitlement will be reduced by a £1 for every £1 of Maintenance Grant payable up to a maximum of £1,200. Maintenance loan entitlement will continue to be reduced by a £1 for every £9.50 of household income in excess of £37,900 until 75 per cent. of loan maximum loan rate is left.


Sanctions (Revised)

The Minister for the Middle East (Dr. Kim Howells): The Government have committed itself to informing Parliament on an annual basis of the sanctions regimes being implemented by the United Kingdom. Currently the United Kingdom implements mandatory United Nations sanctions, imposed by the UN Security Council acting under chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in relation to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Somalia. The UK also implements sanctions regimes imposed autonomously by the EU in relation to Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burma, China, the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (in connection with individuals indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), Iran (for nuclear rated dual use goods), Moldova, Sudan and Zimbabwe. In accordance with a decision of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Kingdom implements arms embargoes on Armenia and Azerbaijan. The UK also imposes an arms embargo against Iran. The Government also take full account of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) moratorium on certain exports of small arms and light weapons to ECOWAS member states. A full list of sanctions regimes and restrictive measures implemented by the UK has been published on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at www.fco.gov.uk/sanctions.

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