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 81-100 out of 5446

  • English local government finance: issues and options Published 01 September 2014 | Research papers RP14/43 Local government finance in England has experienced substantial changes since 2010. This paper examines the challenges that local authorities have faced from reductions in central government funding, and how they have responded to these. Local authorities have been using a number of strategies to cope with reduced funding, including community budgets, city deals, efficiency savings, combined authorities and shared services. They have also reduced or redesigned services, and collected more local taxes where possible. Topic: Local government
  • Household Debt Published 01 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
  • The Aerospace Industry Published 29 August 2014 | Standard notes SN00928 The aerospace industry is considered by the Government as a “phenomenal success story” and a sector that offers “tremendous opportunities for growth”. The UK has a 17% global market share in aerospace industry revenues, making it the largest in Europe and second only to the US worldwide. Topic: Aviation, Economic policy, Industry, Manufacturing industries
  • Regional Growth Fund Published 29 August 2014 | Standard notes SN05874 This note examines the Regional Growth Fund, which is worth over £3.2 billion over the five years from 2011-12 to 2016-17. It is intended to promote the private sector in areas in England most at risk to public sector cuts. Topic: Business support, Economic policy, Economic situation, Regeneration, Regional development agencies
  • Mitochondrial Donation Published 28 August 2014 | Standard notes SN06833 This note seeks to provide a summary of the role of mitochondria, mitochondrial disease and the proposed new techniques. It will also outline the investigations into these techniques that took place prior to the Government announcement; a HFEA scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods, an ethical review of the techniques for mitochondrial replacement undertaken by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and an HFEA public consultation. The main safety and ethical considerations associated with the introduction of these techniques into clinical practice will be discussed. Topic: Diseases, Genetics, Medical ethics, Medicine, Science
  • The 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme Published 27 August 2014 | Standard notes SN06720 The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 provided for a new, ‘gross income’ child maintenance scheme to replace both the existing means of calculating child maintenance, which was introduced in December 2012. All new cases are now being admitted to the new scheme. The Government intends to transfer all existing cases to the new scheme by 2017. This note provides an overview of the scheme's introduction and timetable for implementation. Topic: Child support, Children and families
  • Retail sales: economic indicators Published 22 August 2014 | Standard notes SN02818 Retail Sales: Data on the value of retail sales. Topic: Economic situation, Service industries
  • Inflation: International Published 22 August 2014 | Standard notes SN02794 Inflation: International: Harmonised Index of Comsumer Prices data on international inflation rates. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation, World economy
  • Inflation Published 22 August 2014 | Standard notes SN02792 Inflation: Data on both the CPI and RPI inflation indices. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation
  • Phosphate Resources Published 22 August 2014 | POST notes POST PN 477 Amended 27 August 2014 World food security is dependent on phosphate fertilisers manufactured from finite deposits of phosphate ore. The majority of remaining reserves are restricted to a limited number of countries raising geopolitical risks. This POSTnote describes the uses of phosphate and summarises ways in which dependence on mineral reserves could be reduced. Topic: Agriculture, Agriculture and environment, EU institutions, Food, Water, Water industry
  • Public Finances Published 22 August 2014 | Standard notes SN02812 Key data on public sector borrowing and debt. Public sector net borrowing totalled £105.8 billion in 2013/14, £9.3 billion lower than in 2012/13. Topic: Economic situation, Public expenditure
  • NEET: Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training Published 21 August 2014 | Standard notes SN06705 Amended 09 September 2014 955,000 people aged 16-24 were NEET in the second quarter of 2014, 13.3% of people in this age group. Current Government schemes with elements aimed at reducing the number of young people who are NEET include: raising the participation age, the Youth Contract and the Work Programme. Topic: Economic situation, Unemployment
  • Pension Schemes Bill Published 21 August 2014 | Research papers RP14/44 Research Paper for Second Reading of Pension Schemes Bill 2014/15 Topic: Pensions
  • National Insurance Contributions Bill [Bill 80 of 2014-15] Published 21 August 2014 | Research papers RP14/45 The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15 would allow for both categories of National Insurance contributions (NICs) which are payable by the self-employed – Class 2 and Class 4 – to be collected through self assessment from April 2016. The Bill would also extend existing tax rules regarding ‘accelerated payments’ and ‘high-risk’ tax promoters to NICs, and introduce a Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule to prevent the avoidance of NICs by intermediaires. Topic: National insurance, Taxation
  • Pre-nuptial agreements Published 20 August 2014 | Standard notes SN03752 Pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically enforceable in courts in England and Wales. The Law Commission has recommended the introduction of enforceable “qualifying nuptial agreements" Topic: Family law, Marriage, Registration of births, deaths and marriages
  • Assisted suicide Published 20 August 2014 | Standard notes SN04857 Amended 12 September 2014 This note provides background to the offence of assisting a person to commit suicide under the Suicide Act 1961, in the context of terminally ill people who may be unable to end their lives without the assistance of family or friends. Particular reference is made to the cases of Debbie Purdy, who in July 2009 obtained a House of Lords ruling ordering the Director of Public Prosecutions to formulate an offence-specific policy setting out the factors he will consider when deciding whether to prosecute assisted suicide offences, and Tony Nicklinson. The note also considers the Assisted Dying Bill [HL], a Private Member's Bill introduced by Lord Falconer of Thorogood, which is currently before the Lords. Topic: Crime, Medical ethics
  • Agriculture in the home countries: Social Indicators page Published 20 August 2014 | Standard notes SN03994 Agriculture in the home countries: Social Indicators page providing summary statistics on agriculture in the countries of the UK from the annual June farm surveys. Topic: Agriculture
  • Ministers in the Coalition Government: 2010 - present Published 19 August 2014 | Standard notes SN06544 This list notes ministerial office holders since the 2010 General Election. Topic: Central government, Ministers
  • NHS workforce statistics: England Published 19 August 2014 | Standard notes SN02223 NHS workforce statistics: England. By Ricky Fang and Rachael Harker SN/SG/2223. This note summarises recent trends in the NHS workforce in England. Topic: Health staff and professions
  • Missing persons and the presumption of death Published 18 August 2014 | Standard notes SN04890 The Presumption of Death Act 2013 will be implemented in October 2014. The Government is to consult on the creation of a status of guardian of the property of missing persons Topic: Death

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