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.

Find a briefing paper
  1. Close

    Glossary

    • 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 1-20 out of 5589

  • Housing Market Published 05 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02820 Housing Market: Data on house prices from the Nationwide and Halifax, mortgage approvals and house-building. Topic: Economic situation, Housing
  • Communications Data: The 2012 draft Bill and recent developments Published 05 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06373 The draft Communications Data Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech in 2012 and published on 14 June 2012. The Bill was subject to pre-legislative scrutiny and some aspects of the Government’s proposals were criticised. The Bill, frequently referred to by critics as a “snooper’s charter”, was not taken forward in the 2012-13 session. New Government proposals on cybercrime were foreshadowed in the 2013 Queen’s Speech, but these appeared more limited than the plans set out in the draft Bill. Topic: Human rights, Intelligence services, Privacy
  • Bankruptcy Published 05 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07097 This note provides a brief outline of bankruptcy procedures. It should be emphasised, however, that anyone made bankrupt (or considering bankruptcy) should seek proper legal advice based on a full appraisal of the facts of their case. Topic: Insolvency
  • Fixed odds betting terminals Published 05 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06946 Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are electronic machines that play a variety of games, including roulette. Each machine accepts bets for amounts up to a pre-set maximum and pays out according to fixed odds on the simulated outcomes of games. Topic: Gambling
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill 2014-15: Parliamentary stages Published 05 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07073 This Bill is awaiting report and third reading in the Lords on9 February 2015. This Note examines parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill so far. There have been a number of Government amendments detailed in the Note. Topic: Terrorism
  • Shale gas and fracking Published 04 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06073 Drilling for shale gas is at only the exploratory phase in the UK. But the rapid development of shale gas resources in North America has transformed the world gas-market outlook. This note includes new tables showing petroleum exploration licences by constituency. Topic: Energy, Environmental protection, Oil, petrol and natural gas, Planning
  • Poverty in the UK: statistics Published 04 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07096 This note sets out information on the levels and rates of poverty in the UK, including historical trends and forecasts for future years. Topic: Incomes and poverty
  • Planning Reform Proposals Published 04 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06418 Planning reform proposals to change planning law and policy have been set out by Government in a technical consultation on planning, the National Infrastructure Plan and Autumn Statement. These include changes to permitted development rights, proposals to get more brownfield land back into use and reform of the compulsory purchase regime, among others. Topic: Housing, Housing supply, Planning, Regional planning and development
  • General Practice in England Published 04 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06906 This briefing note provides general background for Members and their staff on NHS primary medical services provided by general practitioners (GPs) in England. Topic: Health finance, Health services, Health staff and professions
  • Debt relief orders Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN04982 This note outlines the background to the introduction of Debt Relief Orders and the main features of the new orders with particular emphasis on the eligibility criteria. Topic: Insolvency
  • Economic Indicators, February 2015 Published 03 February 2015 | Research papers RP15/6 This paper features analysis of the latest UK and international economic indicators. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation
  • Accommodation and financial support for asylum seekers Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN01909 Asylum seekers are not eligible for mainstream welfare benefits whilst waiting for a decision on their asylum application. Instead, if they are destitute, they can apply to UK Visas and Immigration for accommodation and/or financial support (‘asylum support’). Asylum support rates have not changed since April 2011. Topic: Asylum
  • Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill (HL Bill 87 of 2014–15) Published 03 February 2015 | Library notes LLN 2015/002 The Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill would introduce time limited provisions to enable female diocesan bishops to be fast-tracked into the House of Lords as members of the Lords Spiritual. This Library Note provides a brief summary of the process by which English diocesan bishops are appointed to the House of Lords. It then discusses the provisions of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill and the Bill’s House of Commons Stages. Topic: Church and state, House of Lords
  • Firefighters pension schemes - current reforms Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06585 Looks at the current debate on reforms to firefighters' pensions Topic: Fire services, Pensions
  • Election ‘purdah’ or the pre-election period Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05262 The term ‘purdah’ has come into popular use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on the activity of civil servants are in place. The term ‘pre-election period’ is also used. The Government has recently announced that pre-election purdah before the next general election will begin on 30 March 2015, the same day as the dissolution of Parliament. Topic: Civil Service, Elections, General elections
  • Inflation: International Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02794 Inflation: International: Harmonised Index of Comsumer Prices data on international inflation rates. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation, World economy
  • Exchange rates Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02811 Exchange rates: Data on the value of the pound relative to other major international currencies. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation, World economy
  • Interest Rates and the Money Supply Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02802 Interest Rates and Money Supply: Data on interest rates from the UK, eurozone and the US; a summary of the Bank of England’s quantitative easing policy; and the latest money supply data for the UK. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation
  • Financial Indicators Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05207 Financial Indicators: Data from FTSE100, as well as oil prices and gold prices. Topic: Economic situation
  • Manufacturing Published 03 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05206 Manufacturing: Data on maufacturing jobs, output and producer confidence. Topic: Economic situation, Manufacturing industries

Contact information

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

If you have any comments on briefings from the Commons Library, please contact papers@parliament.uk.

Please note, authors are not available to discuss the contents of papers with members of the general public. 

TwitterFollow House of Commons Library on Twitter

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

Email hlresearchservices@parliament.uk with comments on Lords Library Notes.

Please note that authors are not available to discuss the contents of Library Notes with members of the general public.

POST produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology. You can leave feedback at www.surveymonkey.com/postnote