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 2609

  • Community budgets and city deals Published 10 April 2014 | Standard notes SN05955 Community budgets are local agreements to pool strategic planning and budgets between public bodies in a given area - whether a local authority area or a 'neighbourhood' (ward or parish level). Pilots have been introduced since 2010 and funding has been made available to roll the programmes out. City deals provide a similar pooling of resource on a discretionary level to large cities. Topic: Children and families, Local government
  • Calls for reform of the criminal law on child neglect Published 10 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06372 The current criminal offence of child neglect is set out in section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. The charity Action for Children has launched a campaign calling for reform of the law, arguing that the legislation needs to "catch up" with modern society's understanding of neglect. Initially the Government said it had no plans to change the law in this area as the courts and children's services already interpret the 1933 Act "in a contemporary way". In October 2013 Damian Green stated that he had asked officials to undertake a targeted consultation. Topic: Children and families, Criminal law
  • Food Banks and Food Poverty Published 10 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06657 The number of food banks in the UK has increased substantially in recent years. This note explains how food banks work, examines their growth and discusses possible contributing factors and policy developments. Topic: Benefits administration, Benefits policy, Economic situation, Food, Incomes and poverty
  • The Arms Trade Treaty Published 10 April 2014 | Standard notes SN05802 A legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2 April 2013. It provides, for the first time, an international legal and regulatory framework for the arms trade based on respect for international law and human rights. The UK ratified the treaty on 2 April 2014. Primary legislation was not required for ratification but secondary legislation was amended and the UK’s Consolidated Criteria, which are the basis upon which official decisions are made about whether to approve licence applications for arms exports, were updated. 31 states have now ratified the treaty; 50 are required for it to enter into force. Topic: Arms control, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Human rights, United Nations
  • Tax avoidance : a General Anti-Abuse Rule Published 09 April 2014 | 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
  • Challenging coroners'decisions Published 09 April 2014 | Standard notes SN00525 There is no right of appeal from an inquest. However, a coroner’s decision or the outcome of an inquest can sometimes be challenged by way of an application under section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988 or an application for judicial review. Topic: Coroners, Death
  • The Equality Act 2010: caste discrimination Published 09 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06862 Amended 15 April 2014 This note provides an overview of the concept of caste, explains the existing law and sets out the background to the order-making power in the Equality Act 2010. Topic: Equality, Ethnic groups, Racial discrimination
  • Planning for Housing Published 09 April 2014 | Standard notes SN03741 It is Government policy to encourage more house building within the planning system. This note sets out how local authorities are directed to plan for housing. Topic: Housing, Housing supply, Planning
  • Personal service companies : recent debate Published 09 April 2014 | Standard notes SN05976 The 'IR35' rules to prevent the exploitation of personal service companies for tax avoidance were introduced in April 2000, following a long and contentious consultation exercise. This legislation remains very unpopular among freelancers who use this corporate form to provide services. This note looks at recent debate on how these rules might be reformed. Topic: National insurance, Taxation
  • Extending home ownership: Government initiatives Published 08 April 2014 | Standard notes SN03668 An overview of Government low cost home ownership initiatives together with comment on the impact of these schemes. Topic: Housing, Owner occupation, Social rented housing
  • Access to Work Published 08 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06666 Access to Work provides practical advice and support to disabled people and their employers to help them overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability. Access to Work is delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) through Jobcentre Plus. Topic: Employment schemes
  • GDP - International comparisons Published 08 April 2014 | 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
  • Pensions: the statutory override and ‘protected persons’ Published 08 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06725 Discusses the Government's consultation on whether to allow a limited 'statutory override' of pension protection arrangements put in place in some denationalised industries in the 1990s Topic: Pensions
  • Corporate tax reform Published 07 April 2014 | Standard notes SN05945 This note discusses the Coalition Government's policy toward reforming the taxation of companies, which was set out initially in its June 2010 Budget. Topic: Taxation
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships Published 07 April 2014 | Standard notes SN05651 This note examines history and current responsibilities of Local Enterprise Partnerships. Topic: Business support, Economic policy, Economic situation, Regeneration, Regional development agencies
  • Introduction of Personal Independence Payment Published 07 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06861 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people of working age. Since it was first introduced for new claims in April 2013 there have been problems with the claims process, with some claimants waiting six months or more for a decision. In February 2014 the National Audit Office said that “poor early operational performance” had led to “long uncertain delays” for PIP claimants. Topic: Benefits administration, Benefits policy, Sickness, disability and carers' benefits
  • TV licence fee non-payment: decriminalising the offence Published 07 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06860 Amended 10 April 2014 It is against the law to watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on TV without a valid licence. At present, using a television receiver without a valid licence is a criminal offence. This can lead to prosecution, a court appearance and a fine of up to £1,000 (not including legal costs). Topic: Broadcasting, Civil law, Criminal law
  • Access to the Local Government Pension Scheme for councillors in England Published 04 April 2014 | Standard notes SN06858 Amended 07 April 2014 Looks at the provisions to allow councillors access to the Local Government Pension Scheme from 2003 and the removal of this for councillors in England from April 2014 Topic: Local government, Pensions
  • The Aerospace Industry Published 04 April 2014 | Standard notes SN00928 The aerospace industry is considerd by the Governemnt 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
  • Housing Market Published 04 April 2014 | Standard notes SN02820 Housing Market: Data on house prices from the Nationwide and Halifax, mortgage approvals and house-building. Topic: Economic situation, Housing

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