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 1-20 out of 2799

  • Trade Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02815 Trade: Trade statistics on the current account for the UK . Topic: Economic situation, International trade
  • Devolution of financial powers to the Scottish Parliament: recent developments Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07077 This note discusses the proposals made by the Smith Commission - in its report published in November 2014 - for further devolution of power to the Scottish Government, in relation to taxation, funding and borrowing. Topic: Devolution, Scottish Parliament, Taxation
  • Tax avoidance : a General Anti-Abuse Rule Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06265 UK tax law is specifically targeted rather than purposive: in tackling the exploitation of loopholes in the law, governments have legislated against individual avoidance schemes as and when these have come to light. This note looks at the case that has been made recently for a general anti-avoidance rule, the Goverment's introduction of a 'narrower' General Anti-Abuse Rule in 2013, and subsequent initiatives to tackle aggressive tax avoidance. Topic: Taxation
  • Children and young people’s mental health – policy, CAMHS services, funding and education Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07088 This note examines children and young people’s mental health services (CAMHS), including access to services, funding and provision in schools. Topic: Health services, Mental health, Schools
  • Assets of community value Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06366 This note briefly discusses the 'community right to bid' for ‘assets of community value’, introduced by the Localism Act 2011. Councils must maintain a list of ‘community assets’, nominated by community groups. If the asset is sold, the group will be given time to come up with a bid. The note discusses the workings of the scheme and related options with regard to community land and buildings. Topic: Local government, Planning
  • The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06278 The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be the new multirole fast jet for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. It will serve as the strike capability for the new Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier and will partner the Typhoon to form the future fast jet fleet for the RAF. There are three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter. The Government attracted criticism for its decision in 2010 to select a different variant to that originally chosen by the previous Government, and again for reverting back to the original choice two years later. Topic: Defence equipment and procurement
  • Service industries Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02786 Service industries: Data incorporating the retail sector, the financial sector, the public sector, business administration and cultural activities . Topic: Economic situation, Service industries
  • Financial Indicators Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05207 Financial Indicators: Data from FTSE100, as well as oil prices and gold prices. Topic: Economic situation
  • Further devolution of powers to Scotland: Universal Credit housing element and payment arrangements Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07095 This note explains the Smith Commission’s proposals and the Draft Scotland Clauses in relation to Universal Credit (UC), including the housing costs element (currently Housing Benefit). As it stands, UC will remain a reserved benefit but the Scottish Parliament would be given the power to vary the housing costs element of UC, and powers to vary the manner and frequency of UC payments. Topic: Benefits administration, Benefits policy, Devolution, Housing benefits, Scottish Parliament, Working age benefits
  • NHS Winter Pressures 2014/15 Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07057 During the winter months, NHS England publishes daily situation reports on winter pressures facing acute hospital trusts. These cover pressures such as accident and emergency diverts, ambulances queueing, bed days lost to norovirus closures, delayed transfers of care, cancelled operations, and trolley waits. This note summarises figures for 2014/15 (up to 25th January) and compares them with the equivalent periods in 2013/14 and 2012/13. Data for individual hospital trusts or areas is available on the NHS statistical website and can be compiled or analysed by the Library on request. Topic: Ambulance services, Health services
  • GDP - international comparisons: key economic indicators Published 05 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02784 GDP International Comparisons: data and forecasts for the UK and the world's largest economies. Topic: Economic situation, International economic relations, World economy
  • Living Former MPs Published 05 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05324 A list of all known living former Members as at 30/01/2015 Topic: Members of Parliament
  • Shale gas and fracking Published 05 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06073 The regulatory regime for fracking in the UK is covered in this note along with comment on environmental concerns. It also covers the new access provisions and debate on fracking in during the Infrastructure Bill’s passage through Parliament. Topic: Energy, Environmental protection, Oil, petrol and natural gas, Planning
  • 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
  • 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

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