Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the Libraries of the House of Commons and House of Lords and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can find research briefings by sorting by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Library Research Papers: in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other major topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Commons Library Standard Notes: 3,000 briefings on topical issues or frequently asked questions.
    • Lords Library Notes: Written by the research section of the House of Lords Library to provide information on topics of current interest to members
    • POSTnotes: Short briefings produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology analysing policy issues that have a basis in science and technology.
    • POST Reports: Occasional major reports produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

Displaying 41-60 out of 4452

  • Common Fisheries Policy Published 27 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05957 This note covers proposals for reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Topic: Fisheries
  • The Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill 2010-12 Published 27 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06234 The Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill contains two measures. One will give the Government the discretion to reduce water bills in certain regions. The other will give the Government the discretion to provide financial assistance for major water and sewage infrastructure projects. Initially the Government plans to use these powers to reduce water bills in the South West of England and to support the Thames Tunnel project. Topic: Pollution, Sustainable development, Water, Water industry
  • Preventing violent extremism Published 27 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05993 This note gives information on the Prevent strategy, which is aimed at tackling religious extremism. It covers the review of the strategy following the change of Government in 2010, outlines the new strategy, and includes information on integration work, which has now been separated out and will be led by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Topic: Religion and faith communities, Terrorism
  • Business rate supplements Published 24 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05137 This note sets out the main features of the Government’s rate supplement scheme and the background to it. It also reflects Section 68 of the Localism Act 2011, which amends the Business Rate Supplements Act 2009 to ensure that all proposals for the imposition of a business rate supplement, and all variations to the original BRS prospectus, must be approved by a ballot of all those eligible to vote. Topic: Local government
  • Components of GDP: Economic Indicators page Published 24 February 2012 | Standard notes SN02787 Latest data on the components that make up GDP, including household consumption, government spending, investment and net trade (exports less imports). Topic: Economic situation
  • Output and Employment by Industry: Economic Indicators page Published 24 February 2012 | Standard notes SN02786 Manufacturing output fell by 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Services output was flat, while construction output fell by 0.5% in Q4 2011 compared with an increase of 0.3% in Q3. Topic: Economic situation, Manufacturing industries
  • Use Class Orders Published 24 February 2012 | Standard notes SN01301 Planning consent is often required for change of land use but the Use Class Order defines changes that do not require such consent Topic: Planning
  • Cold calling or doorstep selling Published 24 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05632 Cold calling or doorstep selling refers to a salesperson making an unsolicited call for the first time at a person’s home to sell goods or services face-to-face. Constituents often complain about the unscrupulous tactics used by some salesmen, resulting in them being pressured into buying goods or services they did not want. Topic: Consumers
  • Distance selling: sale of consumer goods over the internet or telephone etc Published 24 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05761 The purpose of this note is to provide an outline of the Distance Selling Regulations. It also outlines other related legislation which may also regulate distance selling, including: the Enterprise Act 2002, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Topic: Consumers
  • Gross Domestic Product: Economic Indicators page Published 24 February 2012 | Standard notes SN02783 The economy grew by an estimate of -0.2% in Q4 2011 falling from 0.5% in Q2 2011. In February, HM Treasury’s average of independent economic forecasts of GDP growth for 2012 was 0.9% and 0.4% for 2013. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) central forecasts from November 2011 are 0.7% growth for 2012 and 2.1% for 2013. Topic: Economic situation
  • Manufacturing Published 23 February 2012 | Standard notes SN01942 The manufacturing industry employs around 2.5 million people in the UK and in 2010 accounted for 10%, or £130 billion, of national economic output. Topic: Manufacturing industries
  • Regulation of Referendums Published 23 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05142 This Note sets out the mechanics for holding referendums and summarises the applicable provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) which regulate publicity and campaigning. The question of a referendum on the future constitutional arrangements for Scotland has arisen since the Scottish National Party won a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2011. The UK Government has proposed using powers under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 to pass to Holyrood power of competence to hold the referendum. Further discussions between the UK Government and the Scottish Government are continuing. Topic: Devolution, Elections
  • Interest rates and inflation Published 23 February 2012 | Standard notes SN03731 Inflation (measured by the change in the CPI) showed inflation at 3.6% in January, down from 4.2% in December and above the Bank of England’s 2% target for the twenty-sixth successive month. On 9 February, the Bank of England announced that interest rates would be kept on hold at 0.5%. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation
  • Consents for Wind Farms - Onshore Published 23 February 2012 | Standard notes SN04370 This note explains the planning procedure for wind farms and discusses why such a high proportion of onshore wind farm proposals are rejected Topic: Planning, Renewable energy
  • Local authorities: the general power of competence Published 23 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05687 The general power of competence is a new power available to local authorities in England that will allow them to do “anything that individuals generally may do”. It was provided for in the Localism Act 2011 and will replace the well-being powers in the Local Government Act 2000. It was brought into force for local authorities on 18 January 2012 in response to a High Court judgment relating to prayers at the beginning of meetings of Bideford Town Council. Draft regulations have been laid that would extend the power to parish councils that meet certain criteria; this is likely to take effect in April. This note gives information on the policy background to the new power, and looks at some of the issues relating to its introduction. Topic: Local government
  • Prison population statistics Published 23 February 2012 | Standard notes SN04334 This note provides a detailed summary of the prison population in England and Wales with a more limited analysis of the situation in Scotland. Topic: Prisons
  • Prison population: Social Indicators page Published 23 February 2012 | Standard notes SN02620 Prison population: Social Indicators page. Topic: Prisons
  • Public Finances: Economic Indicators page Published 22 February 2012 | Standard notes SN02812 Between April 2011 and December 2012, the government borrowed £93.5 billion, 14.3% less than the year before. Topic: Economic situation, Public expenditure
  • Edited electoral register Published 22 February 2012 | Standard notes SN06198 This Note provides brief details of the consultation about the edited register and the recommendation of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee. The Government published its response to the PCR Committee’s recommendations on 9 February 2012 but there was no announcement of a decision about the sale of the edited register. Topic: Elections, Electoral register
  • Occupational pension increases Published 22 February 2012 | Standard notes SN05656 Looks at the minimum requirements on private sector Defined Benefit occupational pension schemes to index and revalue pension benefits Topic: Pensions

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