Gurkha Welfare Trust: Finance

Defence written question – answered on 21st April 2008.

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Photo of John Austin John Austin Labour, Erith and Thamesmead

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department contributed to the Gurkha Welfare Trust in each of the last three years; what evaluation he has carried out of the Trust's work; and what plans he has for future funding.

Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Veterans)

The Ministry of Defence supports the work of the Gurkha Welfare Trust through the provision of an annual grant in aid. In the last three years this has amounted to:

Financial year £
2005-06 878,000
2006-07 (1)679,000
2007-08 988,000
(1) A carry over of funds from the previous year meant that less money than originally budgeted was required by the trust in 2006-07

This money contributes to the administrative costs of the trust's Gurkha Welfare Scheme in Nepal and enables the MOD to fulfil its obligations to pay pensions and deal with welfare issues for serving soldiers in the more remote regions of Nepal.

The Gurkha Welfare Trust is a registered charity, independent of the Ministry of Defence. It only formally reports to the Ministry of Defence on the expenditure of the grant. However, it is the Department's view that the trust, through its field arm, the Gurkha Welfare Scheme, conducts invaluable work in Nepal, including the payment of welfare pensions to the Gurkha ex-servicemen and widows who do not qualify for a service pension. It provides, free of charge, even in the most remote areas of Nepal where ex-servicemen live, primary health care including doctors' clinics. In addition it provides secondary health care free for all those not in receipt of a service pension and subsidised by 70 per cent. for those who do have a pension. It is involved in delivering community aid including bridge building, drinking water projects and building schools, which benefits not only the ex-service community but the infrastructure of the country as a whole in the brigade's traditional recruiting areas in the foothills of Nepal.

The grant in aid is provided by the Department under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding. The terms of the arrangement are reviewed every five years.

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