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.

Find a briefing paper
  1. Close


    • 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 2720

  • Talking Therapies for Mental Health Problems: Waiting Times Published 24 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06988 How long are waiting times for talking therapies (such as cognitive behavioural therapy) for mental health problems? The NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme records referral rates and waiting times at the local level by clinical commissioning group. This note summarises data for 2013-14 at the local CCG level. Topic: Health services, Mental health
  • Work Programme Published 24 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06340 The Work Programme is the Government's main welfare-to-work scheme, designed to tackle long-term unemployment. Topic: Employment, Employment schemes, Unemployment
  • Improving outcomes for DC pension savers Published 23 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06956 Discusses proposals to improve outcomes for savers in defined contribution (DC) pension schemes Topic: Pensions
  • Regulation of work-based DC pension schemes Published 23 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06986 Amended 24 September 2014 Looks at the regulatory framework for DC pension schemes Topic: Pensions
  • Membership of UK political parties Published 23 September 2014 | Standard notes SN05125 Amended 06 October 2014 The UK’s political party system is at a time of considerable change. Membership of the three main political parties is at a historic low: less than 1% of the UK electorate is now a member of the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat Party. Yet membership of smaller, often nationalist parties has risen markedly. This note analyses the size and social characteristics of political party memberships. Topic: Political parties
  • Pensions and pensioners' incomes: Social Indicators page Published 23 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02657 A summary of trends in pensioners' incomes. Topic: Incomes and poverty, Pensions
  • Housing Benefit: Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) Published 22 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06899 Increasing the level of funding for Discretionary Housing Payments has been one of the ways in which the Government has sought to mitigate the impact of some of the reductions to Housing Benefit entitlement. Emerging evidence on the use of DHPs has raised questions around the adoption of different practices by local authorities. This note explains the funding position and considers evidence (to date) on how DHPs are allocated. Topic: Housing, Housing benefits, Private rented housing, Social rented housing
  • Turnout: Social Indicators page Published 22 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02633 Turnout: Social Indicators page. Summary information on turnout at elections in the UK. Topic: Election results : UK, Elections
  • Gurkha Pensions Published 22 September 2014 | Standard notes SN04375 This note looks at the development of pension arrangements for Gurkhas Topic: Armed forces welfare, Pensions
  • HE in England from 2012: Funding and finance Published 22 September 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
  • Defined ambition pension schemes Published 22 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06902 Looks at the development of proposals for 'defined ambition' pensions, provision for which is in the Pension Schemes Bill 2014/15 Topic: Pensions
  • Accident and Emergency Care in the UK: Statistics Published 22 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06964 Amended 06 October 2014 What statistics are available on Accident & Emergency facilities in the UK, and what do they show? This note provides summaries and visualisations of a wide range of NHS A&E trends, including: levels of attendance over time; attendance by age, time and day of the week; various measures of waiting times; reason for attendance; and unplanned re-attendance. It also explores the extent and limitations of the available data sources. Topic: Ambulance services, Emergency services, Health services
  • Public sector finances: 2014 revisions Published 21 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06985 Accounting changes introduced to Public Sector Finance statistics from September 2014, are set to increase UK Public Sector Net Debt (PSND) and Public Sector Net Borrowing (PSNB) by around £130bn and £4bn respectively in 2013/14. The Public Sector Current Budget deficit and Public Sector Net Investment will also be affected. Topic: Economic situation, Public expenditure
  • Retail sales: economic indicators Published 19 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02818 Retail Sales: Data on the value of retail sales. Topic: Economic situation, Service industries
  • Inflation: International Published 19 September 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 19 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02792 Inflation: Data on both the CPI and RPI inflation indices. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation
  • Asbestos-related diseases: payments from the Department for Work and Pensions Published 18 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06012 Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to a number of serious diseases. People suffering from certain conditions may be able to pursue a civil claim for damages against one or more employers responsible for exposing them to asbestos negligently and/or in breach of a statutory duty. Compensation may also be available under schemes administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Topic: Diseases, Industrial health and safety, Sickness, disability and carers' benefits
  • Waiting times: Social Indicators page Published 17 September 2014 | Standard notes SN02639 Waiting times: Social Indicators page. By Rachael Harker. SN/SG/2639. Topic: Health services
  • Finances of the Monarchy Published 17 September 2014 | Standard notes SN00819 Amended 23 September 2014 This note provides background information about the Royal finances, figures for the income and expenditure of the Queen as Head of State, and the Prince of Wales. Topic: Crown
  • Litter Published 16 September 2014 | Standard notes SN06984 This note considers the financial cost of litter in England and Wales, and the penalties available under current legislation to the enforcing authorities. It also considers forthcoming legislation, and what the public and local groups can do to combat litter. Topic: Anti-social behaviour, Waste management

Related information

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

If you have any comments on briefings from the Commons Library, please contact

Please note, authors are not available to discuss the contents of papers with members of the general public. 

TwitterFollow House of Commons Library on Twitter

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

Email with comments on Lords Library Notes.

Please note that authors are not available to discuss the contents of Library Notes with members of the general public.

POST produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology. You can leave feedback at