§ Dr. Goodson-Wickes
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current position on redundancies in the(a) Royal Navy, (b) Army and (c) Royal Air Force; and if he will make a further statement.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
I announced the second phase of the Royal Navy's redundancy programme in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Dr. Goodson-Wickes) on 3 June 1992,Official Report, columns 568–69. A total of 436 officers and 836 ratings have now been selected for redundancy. The vast majority are volunteers although, regrettably, it has been necessary to select 69 officers and 80 ratings who did not put their names forward. All individuals have been notified and will leave between 1 April and 30 November 1993. The need for a third phase is under careful consideration.
For the Army, as foreshadowed in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Merchant) on 8 July 1992, Official Report, column 185, a total of 1,311 officers and 5,150 soldiers will he selected for redundancy in 1993–94. I am pleased to say that all the 5,150 soldiers to be selected have volunteered for redundancy. Almost 60 per cent. of the officers will also be volunteers, but it will unfortunately be necessary to select 623 officers for compulsory redundancy. All those declared redundant will be notified on 25 February 1993. The size of the third phase for 1994–95 will be considered in due course.
The first tranche of the RAF redundancy scheme that I announced in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) on 22 May 1992, Official Report, column 292, was oversubscribed by applicants and no compulsory redundancies are necessary to meet the full target of 750 places in 1993–94. In addition, some 210 individuals who also volunteered for redundancy have indicated their willingness to leave before 31 March 1993. The size of the second tranche of the scheme in 1994–95 will be reviewed next year in the light of the latest manpower forecasts.