Social change: Key issues for the 2015 Parliament

This section of the Key Issues 2015 publication focuses on areas such as immigration, population, relations and end of life. This briefing was prepared by House of Commons Library researchers for Members of the new Parliament in 2015 and includes analysis of a range of subjects.


Controlling immigration

Immigration has assumed a status alongside the economy and the NHS as one of the public’s most important issues.

Personal Relationships

The new Government may seek to reform aspects of family law to reflect social change, including trends in cohabitation and divorce. This article looks at some areas where there have already been calls for reform.

Mental health stigma

Anti-stigma campaigns and the growing profile of mental health issues in recent years appear to have gone some way to changing views and dispelling misconceptions about mental illness.

Ageing Population

A rise in the elderly population, particularly if not matched by health improvements, will place ever-greater pressure on the public finances, as a relatively smaller working-age population supports growing spending on health, social care and pensions.

Assisted Suicide: The Right to Die

In recent years there has been something of a shift in public and medical opinion as to whether assisted suicide should remain completely criminal, although the debate remains highly polarised.

Funerals and Space for Burials

The costs of a basic funeral have nearly doubled over the past ten years. Meanwhile, space for burials is becoming increasingly scarce. Can people afford the cost of dying, and will there be space for a burial if this is what they choose?

Current Briefing Papers

The Key Issues articles were published in May 2015. However, the Commons Library produces new briefings as topics evolve.

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Key Issues 2015

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