§ Mr. McWalter
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many ex-firefighters are being paid a pension because of early retirement through ill health; and what monitoring systems are in place to ensure that the ill health is not transient. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
The information concerning the number of ex-firefighters being paid ill-health pensions is not held centrally, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost as individual Fire Authorities administer the Firelighters' Pension Scheme. Fire Authorities have discretion to review the payment of ill-health pensions to determine whether they should remain in payment for so long as firefighters are below the age at which they could or should have retired with ordinary pensions. The Office of theDeputy Prime Minister has recommended Fire Authorities to carry out regular reviews.