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 101-120 out of 5514

  • HE in England from 2012: Student numbers Published 31 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06205 New students starting higher education in England in 2012 faced higher tuition fees, potentially higher loan interest rates and longer loan durations. The Government has also introducing a new ‘core and margin’ model which introduces an element of competition into the allocation of student numbers between institutions. The impact of these changes on potential students and student numbers is seen as one key test of the success of the Government’s reforms to higher education in England. The number of new fell in 2012 as it did when fees were first introduced and then raised in the past. Any long term change to student numbers would also have important implications for the financial health of the higher education sector and the UK economy. Topic: Higher education, Students
  • HE in England from 2012: Funding and finance Published 31 October 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
  • CAP reform 2014-20: EU Agreement and Implementation in the UK and in Ireland (updated) Published 30 October 2014 | Research papers RP14/56 Amended 19 November 2014 CAP reform 2014-2020 has been agreed and is now being implemented. This paper sets out stakeholder reaction and key implementation decisions for the four countries of the UK, and also of Ireland. It updates the November 2013 version which was prepared as government consultations on implementation were still on-going. Topic: Agriculture, Agriculture and environment, Common Agricultural Policy, Economic policy, EU budget, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament
  • The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15: Parliamentary scrutiny Published 30 October 2014 | 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
  • GM Crops and Regulation Published 30 October 2014 | POST notes POST PN 482 This note summarises the evidence on environmental and health impacts of GM crops, describes recent technological developments and examines their likely consequences for proposed reforms of GM regulation Topic: Agriculture, Agriculture and environment, Countryside, Environmental protection, Genetics
  • Trespass to land Published 30 October 2014 | Standard notes SN05116 This note provides some background information about issues relating to trespass to land. This is not generally a criminal offence; however, there are particular statutes which make particular forms of trespass offences. In 2012, the Government introduced a new offence of squatting in residential buildings, but also said it had no plans to criminalise any other forms of trespass. Topic: Civil law, Crime
  • GDP and the national accounts: 2014 revisions Published 30 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06982 The way GDP is measured has changed, with revised figures showing the 2008-2009 recession being slightly less severe than previously thought and the economic recovery stronger. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation
  • Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (HL Bill 47 of 2014–15) Published 30 October 2014 | Library notes LLN 2014/032 The Social Responsibility, Action and Heroism Bill (the SARAH Bill) sets out various factors that the court “must have regard to” in determining the steps a defendant was required to take to meet a standard of care in claims for negligence or breach of statutory duty. Topic: Charities, Civil law, Voluntary organisations
  • Commons Select Committee Chairs Published 30 October 2014 | Standard notes SN04400 Select Committee chairs since the 2010 General Election Topic: House of Commons, Members of Parliament
  • Inter-racial adoption Published 29 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06351 This note provides information on the current law and policy on inter-racial adoption. Topic: Children and families, Children's social services
  • NHS Charges for Overseas Visitors Published 29 October 2014 | Standard notes SN03051 NHS Charges for Overseas Visitors. By Thomas Powell. SN/SP/3051. Topic: Health finance, Health services
  • Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants? Published 29 October 2014 | Standard notes SN07008 Amended 03 November 2014 There is some evidence to suggest that private landlords are reluctant to let to prospective tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit. This note explains the reasons for that reluctance and why it is not unlawful. Topic: Housing, Housing benefits, Private rented housing
  • Quantitative easing Published 28 October 2014 | Standard notes SN04997 This note sets out the background to the policy, how it is expected to work and some possible issues related to its use. Topic: Economic policy, Economic situation
  • Modern Slavery Bill: Progress of the Bill Published 28 October 2014 | Standard notes SN07006 This is a note on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Modern Slavery Bill. It complements Library Research Paper 14/37 prepared for the Commons Second Reading. Topic: Crime, Criminal law, Sexual offences
  • Anti-social behaviour- new provisions Published 28 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06950 Substantial changes to the law on anti-social behaviour have come into force as a result of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Government is replacing a number of the legal remedies currently available. This Note gives a summary of the new powers. Topic: Administration of justice, Crime
  • NHS whistleblowing procedures in England Published 28 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06490 Amended 29 October 2014 This note sets out the current rights and procedures for NHS staff to raise concerns about safety, malpractice or wrongdoing at work (popularly known as “whistleblowing”). Topic: Health services, Health staff and professions
  • Student loan statistics Published 28 October 2014 | Standard notes SN01079 Student loans are the main method of direct government support for higher education students. Money is loaned to students at a subsidised rate to help towards their maintenance costs and to cover the cost of tuition fees. Currently more than £10 billion is loaned to students each year. This is expected to grow rapidly over the new few years and the Government expects the value of outstanding loans to reach over £100 billion (2014 15 prices) in 2018 and continue to increase in real terms to around £330 billion (2014 15 prices) by the middle of this century. Topic: Higher education, Loans, Students
  • Married women and state pensions Published 28 October 2014 | Standard notes SN01910 This note looks at how married women can build state pension entitlement and the option to pay reduced rate National Insurance Contributions until 1977. Topic: Equality, Pensions
  • Gypsies and Travellers: Planning Provisions Published 28 October 2014 | Standard notes SN07005 Gypsies and travellers have thier own specific section of Government planning policy. Government has made recent changes to give stronger protection to green belt land and also proposed further future changes. This is explained further in this note Topic: Ethnic groups, Planning
  • Child arrangements orders: residence and contact related matters for parents, grandparents and others after separation Published 27 October 2014 | Standard notes SN03100 Child arrangements orders were introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 on 22 April 2014 to replace the previous framework of contact and residence orders. Child arrangement orders are court orders regulating the living and contact arrangements in relation to a child following parental separation. Topic: Children and families, Children's social services, Divorce

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