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 2606

  • Lebanon 2014 Published 03 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06859 Amended 04 April 2014 • Lebanon is perhaps the most diverse country in the Middle East and it has a history of instability and civil war. • The bomb that assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri still reverberates around the country • The country’s politics are ... Topic: Middle East
  • Pub companies, pub tenants & pub closures Published 03 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06740 This note looks at the slow progress towards a statutory system of regulation of the pub company - tenant relationship. Topic: Companies, Competition
  • Taxation of banking Published 03 April 2014 | Standard notes SN05251 This note looks at the public debate about reforming the tax treatment of the banking sector in the wake of the recent financial crisis, before discussing the different approaches taken by the Labour Government and its Coalition successor. Topic: Financial services, Taxation
  • Broadband – Update 2014 Published 03 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06643 How the Government aims to meet its targets for increasing access to faster internet connections. Topic: Internet and cybercrime, Telecommunications
  • Combined authorities Published 03 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06649 Combined authorities are a legal structure that may be set up by local authorities in England, following a governance review. They may be set up by two or more local authorities. Combined Authorities may take on transport and economic development functions. They have a power of general competence and can be passed functions by the Secretary of State. There are affinities between the concept and geographical coverage of combined authorities and the former metropolitan counties which were established in 1974 and abolished in 1986. Topic: Local government
  • Electoral arrangements in Wales Published 02 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06641 On 31 March 2014 the Wales Bill 2013-14 had its second reading in the House of Commons. In respect of the National Assembly for Wales the Bill changes the term of the Assembly to five years; allows candidates at Assembly elections to stand in both a constituency and a region at the same time and prohibits Assembly Members from sitting simultaneously as MPs. This Note provides background to the issue; details of the Green Paper; the debates following its publication; and the Welsh Affairs Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Bill. Topic: Elections, National Assembly for Wales
  • Tax Relief for Childcare Published 02 April 2014 | Standard notes SN00019 This note discusses the current, limited, tax relief given for employer-provided childcare, and the case that has been made for wider relief on these costs. Two other Library notes give an overview of Government policies on childcare since 1997: SN6382 (1997-2010) & SN6807 (2010-). Topic: Child care, Taxation
  • Local government: shared services, outsourcing, unitary authorities Published 02 April 2014 | Standard notes SN05950 An increasing number of local authorities are making use of schemes to share services, relating to both ‘back office’ and ‘front line’ functions. Some of these have taken the form of shared services or shared staff between a number of authorities, not always those bordering one another. The best known of these is probably the ‘Tri-Borough’ arrangement between Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea. Others have taken the form of companies being set up crossing public sector boundaries, such as ‘Hoople’ in Herefordshire, a joint initiative between Herefordshire Council and the former PCT. Topic: Local government
  • Pensions: ending the requirement to annuitise Published 02 April 2014 | Standard notes SN00712 Amended 03 April 2014 Looks at why people have traditionally be required to buy an annuity with defined contribution pension savings and why the current Government intends to change this Topic: Pensions
  • Teachers' Pension Schemes- current reforms Published 02 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06731 Looks at current reforms to teachers pensions Topic: Pensions
  • Industrial policy since 2010 Published 02 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06857 Industrial policy is the way that government supports industry to boost the economy. This note surveys industrial policy since 2010. Topic: Economic policy, Industry, Manufacturing industries, Service industries
  • Income tax : recent increases in the personal allowance Published 01 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06569 This note discusses the Coalition Government's policy - first announced in the agreement which underpinned the establishment of the new Government in May 2010 - of increasing the basic personal allowance each year, with the aim that the allowance should reach £10,000 by 2015. Topic: Taxation
  • Coroners' investigations and inquests Published 01 April 2014 | Standard notes SN03981 Part 1 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (the 2009 Act), which was largely implemented in July 2013, repealed and replaced most of the Coroners Act 1988. The 2009 Act has introduced a new concept of the coroner’s ‘investigation’ into a death. Topic: Coroners, Death
  • Gross Domestic Product: Economic Indicators page Published 01 April 2014 | Standard notes SN02783 UK Gross Domestic Product: Regularly updated data on growth and forecasts. Topic: Economic situation
  • Nuisance Calls: Unsolicited sales and marketing, and silent calls Published 01 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06033 Nuisance calls (i.e. unsolicited - and unwanted - marketing messages, silent or abandoned calls) cause widespread harm and inconvenience which have been acknowledged by the previous and current Government and the relevant regulators. This note sets out the key regulations which seek to address nuisance calls and the main sources of assistance and their limitations. Topic: Consumers, Telecommunications
  • Incapacity benefit reassessments Published 01 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06855 Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) replaced incapacity benefits for new claims from October 2008. Between 2010 and 2014, around 1.5 million claimants of old-style incapaqcity benefits are being reassessed for ESA. To date, over 1.1 million incapacity benefit claimants have been reassessed, and around a fifth have been found “Fit for Work.” Topic: Benefits administration, Benefits policy, Sickness, disability and carers' benefits
  • Inflation: International Published 01 April 2014 | Standard notes SN02794 Inflation: International: Harmonised Index of Comsumer Prices data on international inflation rates. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation, World economy
  • Business and Consumer Confidence Published 01 April 2014 | Standard notes SN02817 Business and Consumer Confidence: Information on business and consumer confidence surveys, which is generally released ahead of official statistical data and can indicate changes to the economic outlook as well as turning points in the economic cycle. Topic: Consumers, Economic situation, Manufacturing industries
  • Productivity Published 01 April 2014 | Standard notes SN02791 Productivity: Data showing UK productivity by sector and comparisons of UK productivity with other G7 countries. Topic: Economic situation, Industry
  • HE in England from 2012: Funding and finance Published 31 March 2014 | Standard notes SN06206 The Government raised the cap on tuition fees for new student to £9,000 in 2012/13 and cut most ongoing direct public funding for tuition in England. This shifted the balance of higher education funding further away from the state and further towards the individual who benefits. Students can take out publicly subsided student loans to pay these higher fees. There is uncertainty about the final size of this subsidy and the Government’s estimate of it has increased considerably since the reforms were first announced. This also affects the size of any saving in public expenditure and the extent of the shift in costs from the state to the individual beneficiary. Topic: Higher education, Students

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