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 2816

  • Devolution of corporation tax to Northern Ireland Published 12 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07078 On 7 January 2015 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, announced the introduction of legislation to enable the devolution of corporation tax in Northern Ireland in April 2017. A Bill was presented to the House the following day. This note discusses the development of the Government’s policy and the wider debate over corporate tax competition. Topic: Devolution, Northern Ireland Assembly, Taxation
  • Support for postgraduate students Published 12 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06281 This note provides information on the different types of financial assistance available to postgraduate students in England. Topic: Higher education, Students
  • Listed sporting events Published 11 February 2015 | Standard notes SN00802 The Broadcasting Act 1996 (as amended) gives the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport the power to designate key sporting and other events as “listed events”. The purpose of this is to ensure that such events are made available to all television viewers, particularly those who do not have subscription television. Topic: Broadcasting, Sports and Olympic Games
  • Local housing authorities - the self-financing regime: progress and issues Published 11 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06776 This note explains the implications of local housing authorities (with retained stock) moving to a self-financing regime from April 2012. It considers what use authorities are making of their new financial freedoms, the case for some continuing restrictions (borrowing caps) to be lifted and the impact of this on new council house builds. Topic: Housing, Housing supply, Social rented housing
  • Syrian refugees and the UK Published 11 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06805 On 29 January 2014, the Home Secretary announced that the UK would establish a programme to offer resettlement to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees. 90 people had been resettled in the UK under the scheme by the end of September 2014. Topic: Asylum, Immigration, Middle East
  • Prisoners' voting rights Published 11 February 2015 | Standard notes SN01764 Prisoners serving a custodial sentence do not have the right to vote under UK law. Prisoners on remand are able to vote under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 2000. This Standard Note provides a narrative of events following the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 6 October 2005, in the case of Hirst v United Kingdom (No 2). Topic: Elections, Electoral franchise, General elections, Human rights, Prisons
  • The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15: Parliamentary scrutiny Published 11 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06975 The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15 would allow for both categories of National Insurance contributions (NICs) which are payable by the self-employed – Class 2 and Class 4 – to be collected through self assessment from April 2016. The Bill would also extend existing tax rules regarding ‘accelerated payments’ and ‘high-risk’ tax promoters to NICs, and introduce a Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule to prevent the avoidance of NICs by ‘intermediaires’. Topic: National insurance, Taxation
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill 2014-15: Parliamentary stages Published 11 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07073 This Bill is now awaiting royal assent. This Note examines parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill. There have been a number of Government amendments detailed in the Note. Topic: Terrorism
  • Compulsory voting Published 10 February 2015 | Standard notes SN00954 This Note examines the arguments for and against legislation to require voters to cast their votes and whether it is a citizen's duty, as well as a right, to vote. Topic: Elections, Electoral systems
  • Domestic violence Published 10 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06337 In February 2014, the police’s response to domestic abuse was described by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) as "not good enough". In response, the Home Secretary announced that every police force would have an action plan for improving their response in place by September 2014 and that she would establish a national oversight group to monitor progress. On 19 August 2014 the Home Secretarylaunched an 8 week consultation on strengthening current laws on domestic violence. Topic: Crime, Crimes of violence
  • Mesothelioma: civil court claims Published 10 February 2015 | Standard notes SN04450 This note provides an overview of civil court claims for mesothelioma. Topic: Civil law, Diseases, Industrial health and safety, Personal injury
  • Pub companies, pub tenants & pub closures: recent developments Published 09 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07074 This note examines the Government’s legislative proposals to establish a new system of regulation for the pubs sector. A second Library note discusses the historical background to this initiative (SN6740). Topic: Competition
  • Cuba and the US – how close can they get? Published 09 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07099 The US and Cuba have annoucned a normalisation of relations, but how close can they get? Will the US lift the economic embargo against Cuba or return Guantanamo Bay? Neither of these is currently under discussion but the US has already agreed to a range of measures to benefit individual Cubans and Americans, and the establishment of diplomatic relations is on the agenda. High level talks began in January and will continue in the coming months. Topic: Latin America, North America
  • International help for the government of Ukraine Published 09 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07098 Amended 11 February 2015 Violence has been increasing in eastern Ukraine, leading to calls for the West to arm the Ukrainian government. But Ukraine is also close to financial meltdown. Topic: Eastern Europe, Economic situation, Military operations
  • Employers' duties to prevent illegal working Published 09 February 2015 | Standard notes SN06706 Members of Parliament sometimes receive enquiries from constituents about employers’ duties to conduct ‘right to work’ checks. This note provides an overview of the relevant legislation and Home Office policy guidance, and recent scrutiny of enforcement action taken by the Home Office against illegal employment. Topic: Employment, Immigration
  • Prime Minister's Questions Published 09 February 2015 | Standard notes SN05183 This note outlines the procedures for the tabling of questions for and answering of questions at Prime Minister's Question Time. It also reviews the history of the Prime Minister facing questions in the Chamber of the House of Commons, the changes to Prime Minister's Questions, and the current situation. The Topic: House of Commons, Parliament, Parliamentary procedure
  • Transport: Scotland Published 09 February 2015 | Standard notes SN03192 This note gives an overview of those transport areas that are reserved to the UK Parliament; those which are devolved to Scotland and proposals in the Smith Commission and subsequent draft legislation to devolve further powers. Topic: Aviation, Buses, Railways, Roads, Shipping
  • Trade Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN02815 Trade: Trade statistics on the current account for the UK . Topic: Economic situation, International trade
  • Devolution of financial powers to the Scottish Parliament: recent developments Published 06 February 2015 | Standard notes SN07077 This note discusses the proposals made by the Smith Commission - in its report published in November 2014 - for further devolution of power to the Scottish Government, in relation to taxation, funding and borrowing. Topic: Devolution, Scottish Parliament, Taxation
  • Tax avoidance : a General Anti-Abuse Rule Published 06 February 2015 | 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

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