HL Deb 26 January 2005 vol 668 cc53-4WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach)

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ivor Caplin) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On the 22 July 2004, Official Report, Commons, col. 62WS), my honourable friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans announced to the House the publication of a consultation document entitled Safeguards for Reservists and their Employers: Proposed Amendments to the Schemes for Financial Assistance Awards for Reservists and their Employers setting out our proposals to update the financial assistance arrangements for reservists who are called-out for permanent service. This received a wide circulation and copies were placed in the Library of the House. Altogether 4,156 visits were recorded to the website including the consultation document before the consultation period closed on 15 October 2004. One hundred and thirty-nine responses were recorded to the online survey and a further 66 individuals responded to the consultation by separate e-mail or by post, while 922 people downloaded the consultation document. An analysis of the responses is available on the MoD website at www.financialassistance.mod.uk/files/pdf/Consultation Results.

It is clear from the responses received that our proposals will meet the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of those who responded to the consultation. I am therefore today publishing the regulatory impact assessment (RIA). This outlines the impact our proposals would have on reservists and employers. The document will receive a similar circulation to the original consultation and copies will be placed in the Library of the House. The RIA will also be available electronically both on the consultations section of the main Ministry of Defence website at www.mod.uk/consultations/consultations.htm and on the SaBRE website accessible from its front-page at www.sabre.mod.uk/.

We are inviting comments on the RIA over the next four weeks, with the consultation period ending on 22 February. Subject to any responses, I anticipate being able to introduce the replacement regulations in March 2005.