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 2799

  • US economy: developments since the 2008/2009 recession Published 13 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06901 US economic recovery from the 2008/2009 recession has been steady as annual GDP growth averaged 2.2% between 2010 and 2013. Unemployment has been falling but the proportion of working age adults in employment remains low by historical standards. Interest rates are near 0% and the Federal Reserve has bought $4 trillion in assets to try and boost the economy. Large budget deficits have seen fiscal policy become a key political battleground, although the deficit has fallen in recent years. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation, World economy
  • Railways: Network Rail Published 13 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02129 This note describes how Network Rail is run, its responsibilities and reforms. Topic: Railways
  • Coalitions at Westminster Published 13 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06404 This standard note looks at coalition governments at Westminster, in the light of the first peacetime coalition government since 1931, formed after the May 2010 general election. It examines incidents where cabinet collective responsibility did not apply and looks at the operation of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011. Topic: Central government, Parliament
  • Employment tribunal fees Published 12 January 2015 | Standard notes SN07081 Amended 13 January 2015 Employment tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013 by The Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (SI 2013/1893). Topic: Courts, Employment
  • House of Lords Reform - developments in the 2010 Parliament Published 12 January 2015 | Standard notes SN07080 Since the Government’s decision in the summer of 2012 to withdraw the House of Lords Reform Bill 2012-13, it has supported provisions in the House of Lords Reform Act 2014 to allow members of the House of Lords to resign, and to require those who do not attend and those convicted of serious offences to cease to be members. Topic: House of Lords, Members of the Lords
  • Badger Culling: Controlled Shooting Pilots Published 12 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06837 Controlled shooting of badgers has been trialed in Gloucestershire and Somerset. The aim was to determine if it is a humane and effective culling method. Topic: Agriculture, Agriculture and environment, Animal diseases, Animal welfare, Animals, Countryside, Wildlife
  • Pensions: Automatic enrolment - 2010 onwards Published 09 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06417 The Workplace pension reforms started to be introduced from 2012. Under the reforms, employers are required to automatically enrol workers into a qualifying pension scheme and, unless the worker opts out, make minimum contributions. Topic: Pensions
  • Local Government Finance Settlement 2015/16 – initial analysis Published 09 January 2015 | Standard notes SN07079 Settlement funding assessments for local authorities will decrease by 13.9% and the overall reduction in Spending power, a measure of The total funding available to local authorities (excluding the GLA), was confirmed as 1.8%. The Government will again be offering Council Tax Freeze Grant to those authorities that freeze their council tax in 2015/16. Local authorities raising their council tax by 2% or more will have to hold a local referendum on the proposal. Topic: Local government, Taxation
  • Housing Market Published 09 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02820 Housing Market: Data on house prices from the Nationwide and Halifax, mortgage approvals and house-building. Topic: Economic situation, Housing
  • Manufacturing Published 09 January 2015 | Standard notes SN05206 Manufacturing: Data on maufacturing jobs, output and producer confidence. Topic: Economic situation, Manufacturing industries
  • Trade Published 09 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02815 Trade: Trade statistics on the current account for the UK . Topic: Economic situation, International trade
  • Contracting out of probation services: what’s happened so far? Published 09 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06894 Amended 15 January 2015 The Ministry of Justice intends to contract-out large parts of the probation service: what progress has been made in implementing the reforms? Topic: Crime, Prisons
  • US Forces in the UK: legal agreements Published 08 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06808 The legal agreements governing the US Visiting Force in the United Kingdom. Topic: Armed forces, Defence policy
  • Funding for charities and other voluntary organisations Published 08 January 2015 | Standard notes SN01440 Funding options for the voluntary and community sector. Topic: Charities, Voluntary organisations
  • Social security expenditure: Social Indicators page Published 08 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02656 Summary data on benefit and tax credit expenditure in Great Britain. Topic: Benefits administration, Public expenditure, Working age benefits
  • Railways: fares Published 08 January 2015 | Standard notes SN01904 This Note explains the fares regulation policy of successive governments, including the fares cap, travel cards and penalty fares. There is a separate note available on rail fare statistics (SN6384). Topic: Railways
  • Railways: passenger franchises Published 08 January 2015 | Standard notes SN01343 This is one of two notes on rail passenger franchising. This note sets out the terms of the various rail franchises in England and Wales and cross-border franchises with Scotland. It does not cover the ScotRail franchise in Scotland, which is devolved (see: SPICe briefing 08/38). A second note, SN6521, sets out in more detail how franchising works and the franchising policy of successive governments. Topic: Railways
  • Accident and Emergency Care in the UK: Statistics Published 08 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06964 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
  • Humanist marriage ceremonies Published 07 January 2015 | Standard notes SN05864 At present, humanist marriage ceremonies do not have legal force and the parties must have an additional ceremony (for example, at a register office) for the marriage to be legally valid. The British Humanist Association has campaigned for the law to be changed to allow humanist celebrants to conduct legal marriages. Topic: Family law, Marriage, Registration of births, deaths and marriages
  • Marriage venues Published 07 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02842 Marriages must normally take place in a register office; approved premises; a building of the Church of England or the Church in Wales; a building that has been registered for the purposes of religious marriage other than in the Church of England or Church in Wales; or a naval, military or air force chapel. There are various conditions surrounding the couple’s choice of venue. Topic: Marriage, Registration of births, deaths and marriages

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