HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 c789W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what costs of the Defence Fire Service, incurred during Operation Fresco, were charged to his office's budget. [168077]

Mr. Raynsford

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has agreed to meet the additional costs incurred by the Ministry of Defence in providing emergency fire cover during the firefighters pay dispute, through Operation Fresco. As at 26 March 2004, the Ministry of Defence had informed the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister that the likely total bill for this service would be in the region of £80 million. The Defence Fire Service's costs will fall within that total, but, as my right hon. Friend the Member for East Kilbride (Mr. Ingram) made clear in his answer of 23 February 2004,Official Report, column 8W, these could be provided only as a discrete figure at disproportionate cost.