HC Deb 21 January 2003 vol 398 c207W
Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the(a) allocation and (b) cost of Royal Naval resources used to assist the UK community during (i) the foot-and-mouth crisis and (ii) the firefighters' strike. [91230]

Mr. Ingram

The aggregation of many of the Ministry of Defence's resources into central and tri-service budgetary organisations makes it impossible to provide a comprehensive picture of Royal Naval resources used on deployments such as those cited by the hon. Member. The number of personnel and amount of equipment used are, moreover, constantly changing in the course of a deployment lasting several months. It is estimated that around 180 RN personnel and their equipment were assisting the United Kingdom community at the height of the foot-and-mouth crisis. The bulk of the cost of RN resources will have fallen to the two distinct naval budget areas, those of the Commanders-in-Chief Fleet and Naval Home Command, which between them incurred additional expenditure of around £200K. MOD recovered these additional costs from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

An estimated 3,000 RN personnel and their equipment were deployed on a typical strike day during the firelighters' industrial action in November 2002. It is too early to estimate how much the military assistance has cost to date, because the costs incurred since November have yet to be fully captured through the Ministry of Defence's central cost reporting system. The additional costs for the two budget areas referred to in the first part of this statement are expected to be of the order of £800K for the period to 30 November. These costs will be recovered from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

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