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 5455

  • Ministers in the Coalition Government: 2010 - present Published 30 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06544 This list notes ministerial office holders since the 2010 General Election. Topic: Central government, Ministers
  • Universal suffrage to elect the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong in 2017: a legal primer Published 30 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06990 In August 2014 the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress decided that the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong should be directly elected in 2017 by universal suffrage. However, the candidates (expected to be two or three in total) will still have to be approved in advance by a nominating committee, whose composition and method of formation will remain unchanged from that of the 1200-person strong ‘Election Committee’ which elected the current Chief Executive in 2012. Critics argue that this nominating committee will have an in-built ‘pro-Beijing’ bias. The decision has triggered a wave of protest. This briefing summarises the legal context of recent events, including the UK's own obligations. Topic: Asia, Electoral systems, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, International politics and government
  • Flexibility for DC pension savers from April 2015 Published 30 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06891 Looks at the announcement in Budget 2014 that from April 2015 people with savings in a defined contribution scheme aged 55 or over would be able to choose when and how to access their pension saving, subject to their marginal rate of income tax Topic: Pensions
  • Takeovers : the public interest test Published 30 September 2014 | Standard notes SN05374 The Enterprise Act 2002 effected a major reform of the merger regime - including a new competition test for assessing mergers & takeovers, to be used in most cases. This replaced a broader public interest test, which some have argued should be reintroduced, to prevent foreign takeovers from damaging national interests. This note discusses the 2002 reform, and the recent debate. Topic: Competition
  • Public Finances Published 30 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02812 Key data on public sector borrowing and debt. This version is the first to discuss public sector finance data following accounting changes made by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Topic: Economic situation, Public expenditure
  • Land: Frequently Asked Questions Published 30 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06989 This note provides a general background briefing about ownership of registered and unregistered land, aspects of boundary disputes and restrictive covenants. It tackles some FAQs on land law asked by constituents and provides signposts to sources of further information. Topic: Land law
  • Housing Market Published 30 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02820 Housing Market: Data on house prices from the Nationwide and Halifax, mortgage approvals and house-building. Topic: Economic situation, Housing
  • Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 Published 30 September 2014 | Research papers RP14/50 In the Scottish Independence Referendum held on the 18th September 2014, the proposition ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ was rejected by a margin of 10.6 percentage points. The turnout at the referendum was 84.6% including rejected papers (84.5% based on valid votes). This is the highest turnout at a nationwide referendum or parliamentary election in Scotland since the franchise was extended to women in 1918. Topic: Devolution, Election results : UK, Elections
  • Household Debt Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02885 Household debt: Data on the latest household debt statistics, including net lending, mortgage interest rates and insolvencies. Topic: Economic situation, Financial services
  • Railways: passenger franchises Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN01343 This is one of two notes on rail passenger franchising. This note sets out the terms of the various rail franchises in England and Wales and cross-border franchises with Scotland. It does not cover the ScotRail franchise in Scotland, which is devolved (see: SPICe briefing 08/38). A second note, SN6521, sets out in more detail how franchising works and the franchising policy of successive governments. Topic: Railways
  • Parking: pavement and on-street Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN01170 This Note outlines the general legal position on what is generally called ‘pavement parking’ and the measures available to the police and local authorities to tackle it. Topic: Roads
  • Members' Changes of Allegiance Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02537 A list of MPs who have changed allegiance from one political party to another or decided to sit as an independent MP Topic: House of Commons, Members of Parliament, Political parties
  • Council tax: Social Indicators page Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02649 Comparisons of council tax between regions and authority class. Topic: Local government, Local government, Taxation
  • Local government finance: Social Indicators page Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02648 Summary of the local government finance settlement 2014/15. Topic: Local government
  • Police funding: Social Indicators page Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02616 Police funding: Social Indicators page. By Roderick McInnes. SN/SG/2616. Topic: Local government, Police, Public expenditure
  • Police numbers: Social Indicators page Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02615 Police numbers: Social Indicators page Topic: Employment, Police
  • Roads: vehicle excise duty (VED) Published 29 September 2014 | Standard notes SN01482 This note outlines the rates of vehicle excise duty (VED) for cars and other vehicles and gives information as to the exemptions from payment and how the Government enforces its collection. Topic: Roads, Taxation
  • Defence personnel statistics Published 26 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02183 This note provides information on the current and future strength of the UK Armed Forces Topic: Armed forces
  • Number of by-elections since 1945 Published 26 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02383 By-elections by session and by Parliament since 1945 Topic: By-elections, Elections
  • Financial Indicators Published 26 September 2014 | Standard notes SN05207 Financial Indicators: Data from FTSE100, as well as oil prices and gold prices. Topic: Economic situation

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