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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Our Ambassador in Khartoum has been active in support of the Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC) and has urged all concerned, including the Government of Sudan, to greater efforts. In support of this action in Khartoum, we recently co-sponsored a United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Sudan with our EU partners. The resolution called upon the Government of Sudan to reinforce action undertaken to prevent and stop abductions of women and children, and to bring to trial any person suspected of supporting or participating in such activities.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We are currently holding discussions with EU partners about the forthcoming session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR). There are no plans at present to table an EU resolution on Zimbabwe. However, the EU issued a statement on 31 January condemning the bombing of the Daily News printing presses. We will continue to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe closely.
We concluded during the Strategic Defence Review that, for the Army, six-month operational tours and an average interval between tours of 24 months are optimum for operational effectiveness and retention. The current average unit tour interval in the Army is around 28 months.
Lord Burlison: A consultative document outlining the options considered for the future of the Defence Diversification Agency and the proposed way forward is now available. Copies have been placed in the Library of both Houses and are being sent to key stakeholders. Additional copies are available on request from:
Lord Burlison: The 2001 Report of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body was published on Friday 9 February. Copies of the report are available in the Vote Office and the Library of the House. We wish to thank the chairman and members of the review body for their hard work in producing this report.
The AFPRB has recommended an increase in basic military salary of 3.7 per cent for all ranks. The AFPRB has also recommended increases in the rates of Additional Pay (eg Flying Pay, Submarine Pay and Diving Pay), the Reserves' Bounties, and in charges.
These recommendations fully support the Armed Forces' strategic personnel policies, in particular in relation to recruitment and retention. The additional cost to the Defence Budget will be £222 million. This will be met within existing departmental expenditure limits.
In addition, alongside the copies of the review body's report, we have placed in the Library a copy of a supplementary letter from the chairman of the AFPRB recommending the introduction of two financial retention incentives for certain categories of
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): I am responding on behalf of my right honourable friend the Prime Minister to the supplementary report of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB). I understand that a similar announcement has been made by the First Minister and the Minister for Health and Community Care in Scotland. Copies of the reports are available in the Printed Paper Office and the Library. We are grateful to the chairman and members of the DDRB for their hard work.
We announced on 18 December that the pay recommendations of the DDRB were being accepted in full and without staging. The DDRB recommended an overall pay increase of 3.9 per cent for salaried doctors and dentists and general medical and dental practitioners.
To encourage the retention of general medical practitioners, the DDRB has also recommended a 7 per cent increase in seniority allowances, worth in the region of £500 for a general medical practitioner with 25 years' service. This is in addition to the 3.9 per cent increase in intended average net remuneration.
The supplementary report from the DDRB covers areas of GPs income aimed at meeting the expense of running their practices and any balancing recovery from debts owed by the profession. In its considerations of what provision to make for indirectly reimbursed practice expenses and the operation of the balancing correction, the review body has recommended:
The average GP will benefit by a further £248 above what the DDRB have recommended. In addition, we will consider constructively how to manage the cumulative debt of the profession (around £80 million) for the benefit of patients and the development of practices.
DDRB also recommended that urgent agreement was needed on flu vaccination payments. Higher payments to GPs were introduced in last autumn's campaign to increase vaccination coverage of people aged 65 and over. We now propose that the whole cost of these payments, not just the proportion relating to the extra coverage achieved, should remain available for investment in general practice.
|2000 (£)||2001 (£)|
|1. IANI (includes 2001 seniority|
|2. Expenses Provision||24,510||23,790|
|3. IANI plus Expenses (1 + 2)||78,730||80,300|
|4. Balancing recovery||(261)||(248)|
|5. IAGI (3 + 4)||78,469||80,300|
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has today received Lord Sharman's review. Copies are available in the Printed Paper Office and the Library of the House.
The twin principles of accountability of the Executive to Parliament and independent scrutiny by the Comptroller and Auditor General are enormously important to good government. Present arrangements have evolved gradually over the past century and it is valuable to have the benefit of Lord Sharman's views on how these arrangements should now be developed to best fit the 21st century.
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