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 2787

  • Sanctions against Russia over Ukraine Published 05 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06951 The EU announced broad economic sanctions against Russia on 29 July 2014 including restrictions on some Russian banks’ ability to borrow money in EU financial markets, and an arms embargo Topic: Eastern Europe, EU external relations, Russia
  • National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill [Bill 18 of 2014-15] Published 05 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07026 This Library briefing paper provides information on the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill, which received its Second Reading on 21 November 2014. The Bill seeks to make changes to a number of provisions in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 relating to: ministerial responsibility for the NHS, competition and procurement policy, and the limits set on NHS hospitals' private income. The Bill also includes measures intended to exempt the NHS from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Treaty. Topic: Health finance, Health services
  • England, Scotland, Wales: MPs & voting in the House of Commons Published 05 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07048 This note analyses the geographic composition of governments and voting patterns of MPs representing England, Scotland and Wales in the House of Commons. It does so in light of the recent Smith Commission Heads of Agreement on further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament, along with subsequent debate about both Scottish representation at Westminster and ‘English votes for English laws’. Topic: Devolution, House of Commons, Parliament
  • Housing Market Published 05 December 2014 | Standard notes SN02820 Housing Market: Data on house prices from the Nationwide and Halifax, mortgage approvals and house-building. Topic: Economic situation, Housing
  • Protocol No.15 to the European Convention on Human Rights: subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation Published 04 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07053 This note looks briefly at the Brighton reform conference in 2012 and reforms implemented before and since. It considers two of the reforms in Protocol 15 that the UK Government particularly wanted, in the light of the European Court of Human Rights judgments in Hirst and Abu Qatada, concerning subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation. Topic: Courts, Human rights
  • Migration Statistics Published 04 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06077 Amended 08 December 2014 A guide to understanding UK migration statistics, explaining the concepts and methods used in measuring migration and setting out a range of data on migration in the UK and in European Union countries. Topic: Immigration, Population
  • Taxation of Pensions Bill - debates in Parliament Published 04 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07036 A guide to debates in Parliament on the Taxation of Pensions Bill 2014-15 Topic: Pensions, Taxation
  • Alcohol: minimum pricing Published 04 December 2014 | Standard notes SN05021 A ban on the sale of alcohol below cost price, defined as alcohol duty plus VAT, came into force on 28 May 2014. This followed the Government's announcement in July 2013 that it would not introduce a minimum unit price. Alcohol charities and public health groups continue to argue for the introduction of a minimum unit price, claiming that this would have more of an impact on alcohol-related harm than the ban on below cost selling. Topic: Alcoholism, Competition, Licensing
  • Shale gas and fracking Published 04 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06073 Drilling for shale gas is at only the exploratory phase in the UK. But the rapid development of shale gas resources in North America has transformed the world gas-market outlook. This note includes new tables showing petroleum exploration licences by constituency. Topic: Energy, Environmental protection, Oil, petrol and natural gas, Planning
  • Flexibility for DC pension savers from April 2015 Published 04 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06891 Amended 12 December 2014 From April 2015 people with savings in a defined contribution scheme aged 55 or over are to be able to choose when and how to access their pension saving, subject to their marginal rate of income tax. Legislation is in the Taxation of Pensions Bill 2014/15 Topic: Pensions
  • Direct recovery of tax debts Published 04 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07051 This note discusses the proposals announced in the 2014 Budget to augment HM Revenue & Customs’ powers to recover debts for both tax and tax credits directly from individuals’ bank and building society accounts. Topic:
  • Asylum Statistics Published 04 December 2014 | Standard notes SN01403 This note presents statistical information on asylum applications in the UK. Topic: Asylum, Immigration, Population
  • Autumn Statement 2014: a summary Published 03 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07052 Amended 04 December 2014 This note provides a summary of the 2014 Autumn Statement, including changes to Stamp Duty, and the Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) latest economic and fiscal forecasts. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation, Housing, Taxation, Working age benefits
  • The welfare cap Published 03 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06852 Autumn Statement 2014 reported on the cap on welfare some spending had been introduced at Budget 2014. This note describes what benefits are included and the operation of the cap. Topic: Benefits policy, Economic policy, Public expenditure
  • Iran, the nuclear negotiations and relations with the UK Published 03 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07010 Amended 04 December 2014 How is the thaw in relations between Iran and the UK going? Topic: International trade, Iran, Iraq
  • New loans for postgraduate students announced in the Autumn Statement 2014 Published 03 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07049 It had been announced in the Autumn Statement 2014 that a new system of income-contingent loans will be introduced in 2016/17 for students under the age of 30 on taught masters courses. This note looks at the background to the proposal and gives the reaction of the higher education sector. Topic: Higher education, Students
  • Emergency Debates since 1979 Published 03 December 2014 | Standard notes SN04569 This Note lists successful applications for emergency debates and provides a link to the debate in Hansard Topic: House of Commons, Parliamentary procedure
  • Tax avoidance : a General Anti-Abuse Rule Published 03 December 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
  • Control of Horses Bill 2014-15 Published 03 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07047 There are proposals to update fly-grazing legislation. This note covers the Julian Sturdy's private Members' bill. Topic: Animal welfare, Animals, Anti-social behaviour, Farmers, Local government
  • Free school statistics Published 03 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07033 The creation of free schools was one of the major education reforms introduced by the current Government. The first 23 free schools opened in September 2011 and this had increased to 251 at the start of the 2014/15 school year. More than 100 free schools have had their applications successfully approved and are expected to open in the future. Topic: Schools

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