Summary page to Library Research Papers 2005

This page gives summaries of the research papers published by the House of Commons Library during 2005.

A full list is available from the main Library Research Papers 2005 web page.

  • Local and mayoral elections 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper summarises the results of the local and mayoral elections held on 5 May 2005. Elections were held in all 34 shire counties in England and three English unitary authorities (Bristol, Isle of Wight, and Stockton-on-Tees). The UK general election was held on the same day. Mayoral elections were also held in Doncaster, Hartlepool, North Tyneside and Stoke on Trent.
    31.12.2005 - Paper 05/93

  • The centre of Government - No. 10, the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    This paper examines the institutional structure of the Cabinet Office, no 10 Downing Street and HM Treasury in the period since 1997. It tracks the units which have composed no 10 and the Cabinet Office during that period. It looks at the debate on whether the Government needs a strong centre, as well as the role of special advisers in no 10.
    21.12.2005 - Paper 05/92

  • Germany: elections, the new Government and Anglo-German relations (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    This paper considers the background to the calling of parliamentary elections in Germany on 18 September 2005. It considers the results and prospects for the new governing coalition, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union. It also looks at Anglo-German relations and how these might develop under the new government.
    20.12.2005 - Paper 05/92

  • The Government of Wales Bill 2005 [Bill 100 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill makes changes to the way devolution works in Wales. It creates a separation of powers between the legislature (the National Assembly for Wales) and the executive (the Welsh Assembly Government). It creates a new power for the Assembly to make law in devolved areas, provides for primary law-making powers and changes the electoral system to prevent candidates from standing both in a constituency and on a party list at the same election.  
    19.12.2005 - Paper 05/90

  • Unemployment by constituency, November 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in November 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in November 2004 and November 1997. This paper also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 646 constituencies in the United Kingdom.
    14.12.2005 - Paper 05/89

  • The Criminal Defence Service Bill [HL] [Bill 64 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill intends to implement two main proposals in relation to criminal legal aid: the reintroduction of a financial eligibility (means) test; and the transfer of the authority to grant the right to publicly funded representation away from the courts and into the scope of the Legal Services Commission. The Government has published an accompanying framework document and a supplement, which give a detailed description of the scheme.
    09.12.2005 - Paper 05/88

  • The Animal Welfare Bill [Bill 58 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill seeks to consolidate and modernise animal welfare legislation in England and Wales. It is an enabling Bill under which a variety of activities and practices involving animals may be regulated.
    07.12.2005 - Paper 05/87

  • The Armed Forces Bill [Bill 94 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill intends to consolidate and modernise the provisions of the three Service Discipline Acts: the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 and the Naval Discipline Act 1957. These Acts would be repealed. Research paper 05/75, Background to the Armed Forces Bill, provides an outline of the current disciplinary system and sets out issues that may be debated.
    07.12.2005 - Paper 05/86

  • The UK Parliament and European Business (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper looks at how the UK Parliament scrutinises and monitors EU legislative proposals and other EU business. It considers recent Government and Select Committee proposals for reforming the UK’s European scrutiny system. It also looks at how elements of the proposed European Constitution relating to the role of national parliaments in the EU might be implemented.
    02.12.2005 - Paper 05/85
  • Economic indicators, December 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This research paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries for selected indicators. This month's topical articles are Trade Justice, the WTO Doha Round and Hong Kong 2005.
    01.12.2005 - Paper 05/84

  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) (Protection of Property) Bill [Bill 18 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill is intended to allow people who tackle burglars and other intruders more latitude, by providing that they will not be guilty of any offence unless they have used grossly disproportionate force. It would apply to England and Wales and Northern Ireland.
    28.11.2005 - Paper 05/83

  • The Work and Families Bill [Bill 60 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill would allow statutory leave and pay for parents to be extended. It aims to increase the period of Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance and Statutory Adoption Pay to 39 weeks by April 2007, then ultimately to 52 weeks. The Bill could also give powers to extend the right to request flexible working to others, including those who have caring responsibilities for adults. A new power will allow workers additional paid annual leave.
    24.11.2005 - Paper 05/82

  • The Childcare Bill [Bill 80 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill sets out new duties on local authorities in respect of the provision of childcare and related matters, and a new regulatory regime for childcare providers. It also considers the current childcare market, recent childcare research and Government childcare policy. This Bill applies to England and Wales.
    23.11.2005 - Paper 05/81

  • The Health Bill (exluding Part I) [Bill 69 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper covers the aspects of the Health Bill that are not covered in Part 1 on smokefree premises, places and vehicles (see research paper 05/79). These range from high profile topics, such as action to reduce health care associated infections, to the relatively technical, such as the auditing arrangements for Special Health Authorities. The extent of the different provisions in the Bill vary.
    23.11.2005 - Paper 05/80

  • The Health Bill: Part 1 - Smoke free premises, places and vehicles [Bill 69 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    This paper informs debate on Part One of the Bill, which seeks to make provision for the prohibition of smoking in certain premises, places and vehicles. The measures will take effect from the summer of 2007 and will apply to England and Wales.
    22.11.2005 - Paper 08/79

  • Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill [Bill 60 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill seeks to create a scheme to deal with those suspected of terrorist-related offences committed before 10 April 1998 in connection with the affairs of Northern Ireland. It would cover suspects who have not been prosecuted, tried or convicted because they have been "on the run", or who, having been convicted, have been unlawfully at large. Individuals will be able to apply for certificates which, if granted, will give them certain exemptions for the offences. Prosecutions will be brought by a Special Tribunal, rather than a court. Those convicted and sentenced could be released on licence, like those released early under the scheme provided for in the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.
    17.11.2005 - Paper 05/78

  • Equality Bill [Bill 85 of 2005-06] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill will make discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the provision of goods, facilities and services, premises, education, and the exercise of public functions will be made unlawful. There are powers to extend such protection to cover sexual orientation. It would also create a single equality body: The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR). The Bill will create a public sector duty to promote gender equality.
    17.11.2005 - Paper 05/77
  • Unemployment by constituency, October 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in October 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in October 2004 and October 1997. It also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 646 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/76

  • Background to the forthcoming Armed Forces Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill is expected to modernise Service legislation by consolidating the three existing Service Discipline Acts (SDA) into a single system of Service law. This paper looks at the main aspects of the current disciplinary system as set out in the SDA and the expected aims of the Bill.
    Paper 05/75

  • Economic Indicators, November 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This research paper series summarises the main economic indicators available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries for selected indicators. This month's topical article: The outlook for the UK economy.
    Paper 05/74

  • The Council Tax (New Valuations for England) Bill (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    The Government planned to carry out a general revaluation of domestic properties for council tax purposes in England with effect from 1 April 2007.  In September 2005, the Government announced that it did not think it sensible to proceed with this timetable for revaluation in light of the extended Lyons Inquiry into local government finance. The Bill removes the requirement for a general revaluation to be in place by April 2007 and for there to be subsequent periodic revaluations.
    Paper 05/73

  • Afghanistan: the culminations of the Bonn process (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper gives an overview of historical developments up to the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. It examines the main stages of the Bonn process, which sought to establish a stable, democratic government for Afghanistan. It also looks at the evolving security environment, the narcotics issue and disarmament and demobilisation.
    Paper 05/72

  • The European Union (Accessions) Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The European Union (Accessions) Bill is linked to the ratification of the European Union Accession Treaty for Bulgaria and Romania. The Treaty sets out the measures and conditions for their entry on 1 January 2007. This paper considers the Bill and the Accession Treaty, the political and economic situation in the accession states and issues linked to their membership of the EU.
    Paper 05/71

  • The Terrorism (Northern Ireland) Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill is designed to extend the life of Part 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which preserved measures in earlier legislation concerned with terrorism in Northern Ireland. These provisions, which are subject to annual renewal, include: the use of 'Diplock' (non-jury) courts; and the admissibility of oral evidence from senior police officers in the context of a person's membership of a specified proscribed organisation.
    Paper 05/70

  • The rights of Savers Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill is designed to encourage pension saving by introducing Savings and Retirement Accounts (SaRAs). It would provide a further alternative to the purchase of an annuity at 75; remove the age 75 limit on annuity protection lump sums; and tackle "high proliferation and low persistency" in pension saving.
    Paper 05/69

  • The burden of taxation 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The 'burden of taxation' is a representation of the share of income - national, household or individual - that is paid in tax. It can be measured in a number of ways, and this paper looks at a variety of datasets that provide different perspectives.
    Paper 05/68
  • The Terrorism Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill is designed to amend and extend previous counter-terrorist legislation. It seeks to create a number of new offences, including encouragement of terrorism; extend the maximum period during which a person suspected of being a terrorist can be detained; and make other amendments to the Terrorism Act 2000. The Bill follows the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and the London bombings of July 2005.
    Paper 05/66

  • The Electoral Administration Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill aims to improve the overall administration of elections. It includes measures to improve electoral registration by: providing for the establishment of a Coordinated Online Register of Electors (CORE); moving the deadline for registration to 11 days before polling day; and allowing anonymous registration for vulnerable people. It reduces the age of candidacy from 21 to 18 and includes measures to address electoral fraud issues.
    Paper 05/65

  • Unemployment by constituency, September 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in September 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in September 2004 and September 1997. It also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 646 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/64

  • Social Indicators (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include crime and justice, defence, education, elections, health and population. This edition includes articles (MRSA statistics: Frequently Asked Questions;  Domestic electricity and heating costs) and topical subject pages (Oil Prices).
    Paper 05/63

  • Employment and Training Programmes for the Unemployed, Volume II: Other programmes and pilots (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    This paper provides an overview of the main Government-funded employment and training programmes. It also contains brief notes on earlier programmes in operation since 1945 and on recent policy developments. The paper is in two volumes (05/61 and 05/62) and updates previous papers on this subject.
    Paper 05/62

  • Employment and Training Programmes  for the Unemployed, Volume I: Recent developments and the New Deal programmes (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    This paper provides an overview of the main Government-funded employment and training programmes. It also contains brief notes on earlier programmes in operation since 1945 and on recent policy developments. The paper is in two volumes (05/61 and 05/62) and updates previous papers on this subject.
    Paper 05/61

  • Unemployment by constituency, August 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in August 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in August 2004 and August 1997. It also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 646 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/60

  • Employment Tribunals (Representation and Assistance in Discrimination Proceedings) Bill (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    The Bill seeks to establish a body independent of Government and the Legal Services Commission, which will be responsible for administering the delivery of assistance and advice to Claimants in discrimination proceedings before an employment tribunal. At present legal aid is generally not available for representation in employment tribunals.
    Paper 05/59

  • Zimbabwe after the 2005 parliamentary election (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    In the parliamentary election of 31 March 2005, President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party secured the two-thirds majority in Parliament that would allow it to amend the Constitution without opposition support. This paper reviews the political, human rights, economic and humanitarian background, the conduct and results of the election and international reactions. It also considers the present state of the main political parties, developments since the election and future prospects for Zimbabwe.
    Paper 05/58

  • Unemployment by constituency, July 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in July 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in July 2004 and July 1997. It also presents residencebased unemployment rates for all 646 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/57
  • London Olympics Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill will establish a new Olympic Delivery Authority to manage the Government's interest in the Olympic project and ensure accountability for public expenditure. It will also grant the Mayor of London Olympic-specific powers, provide greater protection for Olympic intellectual property and prevent unauthorised marketing in connection with the Games. The text of the Bill was not available at the time of writing, so this paper does not refer to specific detail in the Bill. 
    Paper 05/55
  • Unemployment by constituency, June 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in June 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in June 2004 and June 1997. It also presents residencebased unemployment rates for all 646 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/54
  • Economic Indicators, July 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries for selected indicators. The series also includes an article on a topical issue. This month's article: EU and G7 competitiveness indicators.
    Paper 05/53
  • Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill would remove the rights of appeal against refusal of nearly all types of visa, and limit appeal rights for people who are refused entry to the UK at the border. The rarely-used offence of employing illegal workers would be revised and supplemented by a new civil penalty allowing on-the-spot fines of up to £2,000. The Bill would allow fingerprinting of all visa applicants, and pave the way for the use of biometrics in passports and visas. Immigration officers, customs officers and the police would be given wider powers to obtain passenger, crew and freight information from airlines and shipping firms, and a duty to share this information. 
    Paper 05/52
  • Civil Aviation Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill makes provision for various civil aviation matters, particularly: noise and emissions, public airport companies, appeals in respect of route licences, health and the Air Travel Trust Fund. The Bill extends to the whole of the United Kingdom with minor exceptions.
    Paper 05/51
  • Regulation of Financial Services (Land Transactions) Bill (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    The purpose of the Bill is to enable specific mortgage products involving the acquisition or disposal of land, but which are not currently within the regulatory authority of the Financial Services Authority, to be specified as "regulated activities" under section 22 of the Financial Services and Markets Act, and hence to be brought under FSA regulation. The Bill extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    Paper 05/50
  • Violent Crime Reduction Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill contains a variety of measures designed to combat alcohol-related violence and disorder, including new "drinking banning orders" and "alcohol disorder zones". It amends licensing law to promote the objectives of crime prevention and child welfare. It also tightens the law on airguns, imitation firearms and the purchase of knives and introduces a new power for school staff to search pupils for weapons.
    Paper 05/49
  • Racial and Religious Hatred Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill extends existing incitement to racial hatred offences to include stirring up hatred against persons on religious grounds. The provisions have proved controversial in all the previous legislative attempts to prohibit incitement to religious hatred. Arguments both for and against the provisions have been made by organisations which, at first sight, one might expect to have similar views. Their arguments are presented along with the controversies associated with the Bill.
    Paper 05/48
  • Unemployment by constituency, May 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in May 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in May 2004 and May 1997. It also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 646 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/47
  • Modernisation of the House of Commons 1997-2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Modernisation Committee was established in May 1997 with a remit to "consider how the practices and procedures of the House should be modernised". Over the last two Parliaments it has put forward a number of proposals for reform, many of which have been adopted by the House. This paper explains the background to the establishment of the Committee and the Modernisation Programme, outlines the key changes practices and procedures during the 1997 and 2001 Parliaments and looks forward to future developments.
    Paper 05/46
  • The future of the European Constitution (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The rejection of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (European Constitution) in referendums in France and the Netherlands has brought about a crisis in the EU. The Constitution cannot come into force until all 25 Member States have ratified it. This paper looks at the outcome of the two referendums, reaction to and commentary on them, and possible scenarios for future EU reform.
    Paper 05/45
  • Social Indicators (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include crime and justice, defence, education, elections, health and population. This edition includes articles (General Election 2005; NHS Waiting Lists and Targets in England) and topical subject pages (Waste and Recycling; Abortion; General Election 2005: Summary).
    Paper 05/44
  • Identity Cards Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill establishes the framework for the introduction of a national compulsory identity cards scheme based on secure, biometric information. This paper looks at the Bill itself, the consultation and draft legislation which preceded its publication, and the arguments which have been advanced for and against such a scheme. It also reviews the previous history of identity cards in the UK and describes the proposed use of biometrics in the new cards.
    Paper 05/43
  • Parliamentary pay and allowances (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper summarises the current levels of pay and allowances of Members of Parliament, Members of the House of Lords and Ministers in both Houses. It provides some background on the formulae used to set levels of pay and allowances, and reports on the work of the Senior Salaries Review Body and the Members Estimate Committee. This edition replaces paper 04/40.
    Paper 05/42
  • The National Lottery Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill provides for the legal framework of the Big Lottery Fund (BLF), which is one of the distributors of National Lottery money to good causes. The BLF already exists, in fact though not in law, following an administrative merger last year between the Community Fund and the New Opportunities Fund. The BLF will distribute half of all National Lottery funds for good causes. The Bill also contains powers to deal with what the Government perceives as the problem of excessive balances held by Lottery distributors.
    Paper 05/41
  • Economic Indicators, June 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries for selected indicators. The series also includes an article on a topical issue. This month's article: Welcome to Economic Indicators and the Economic Policy and Statistics Section.
    Paper 05/40
  • The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill provides for the formation of a new agency, Natural England, which will be responsible for conserving, enhancing and managing England's natural environment. The agency will be formed by the merger of English Nature with part of the Countryside Agency and part of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. The Commission for Rural Communities, formed out of another part of the Countryside Agency, will take on the Rural Advocate role of ensuring the Government policies take rural needs into consideration.
    Paper 05/39
  • Crossrail Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill was previously introduced as HC Bill 62 of 2004-05. The Bill seeks to secure the powers necessary to build Crossrail. Crossrail will consist of new rail tunnels running through central London connecting directly with existing surface rail routes to Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will also connect the major London rail terminals of Paddington and Liverpool Street.
    Paper 05/38
  • The Consumer Credit Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill seeks to enhance consumer rights and redress by replacing the 'extortionate' credit provisions with a wider 'unfair credit relationship' test and introducing an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme to be run by the Financial Ombudsman Service. It also seeks to strengthen the credit licensing system and equip the Office of Fair Trading with new powers to take action against rogue lenders. Finally, it seeks to extend regulation to all consumer credit and hire transactions (with limited exceptions).
    Paper 05/37 
  • The Transport (Wales) Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill seeks to introduce a variety of measures pertaining to the provision of transport to, from and within Wales. The general effect of the Bill would be to extend the powers of the National Assembly in the area of transport and to produce a better integrated transport system for Wales. The Bill extends primarily to Wales with some provisions also affecting England.
    Paper 05/36
  • Unemployment by constituency, April 2005 (PDF PDF 921 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in April 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in April 2004 and April 1997. It also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 646 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/35
  • General Election 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper presents a summary of the results of the United Kingdom General Election held on 5 May 2005. It provides an analysis of voting nationally and by country, region, county and constituency.
    Paper 05/33
  • Unemployment by constituency, March 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in March 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in March 2004 and March 1997. It also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 659 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/32
  • The International Organisations Bill [HL] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill confers privileges and immunities on certain international bodies and their staff. In most cases this is in order to meet international obligations which the Government has accepted in respect of those organisations. In some cases it is to meet political undertakings. It extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.
    Paper 05/31
  •   The Quango Debate (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper surveys the progression of the public and political debate about quangos, with a particular focus on the period since the 1997 general election. It outlines concerns surrounding the continued and increased use of quangos and details the Government response to these apprehensions. It notes post-devolution arrangements for the regulation of quango appointments and operations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  It also summarises various recommendations made for further reform.
    Paper 05/30
  • The Equality Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill dissolves the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) and the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and replaces them with a single equality body: The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR). Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the provision of goods, facilities and services, premises, education, and the exercise of public functions will be made unlawful. The Bill will create a public sector duty to promote gender equality. Sex discrimination in the exercise of public functions will also be prohibited.
    Paper 05/28
  • Direct taxes: rates and allowances (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget of 16 March 2005. It lists the principal personal allowances that will be available against income tax in the tax year 2005-06, and it outlines the conditions necessary for eligibility for these allowances. The paper provides a summary of the general tax position.  It not deals with cash benefits provided under the social security system, or to child tax credit and working tax credit.
    Paper 05/27
  • The Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill [HL] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill establishes the office of Public Services Ombudsman for Wales and transfers the functions of the Welsh Administration Ombudsman, the Health Service Commissioner for Wales, the Local Government Ombudsman and the Social Housing Ombudsman to the new office, creating a unified ombudsman service for Wales.
    Paper 05/26
  • The Disability Discrimination Bill [HL] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill will amend the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and will deliver the remainder of the Government's response to the recommendations of the Disability Rights Task Force. It introduces new rights in the areas of transport and the functions carried out by public authorities. It will also strengthen and extend the DDA by introducing or extending provisions on letting premises, private clubs and local councillors. The definition of disability in the DDA will be extended to bring more people within its coverage.
    Paper 05/25
  • The Caspian Basin, energy reserves and potential conflicts (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper discusses potential conflicts which might arise in the Caspian Basin as the exploitation of oil and gas resources interrelates with existing geopolitical and domestic tensions. The focus is particularly on the emerging post-Soviet states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Iran and Russia are considered in respect of their Caspian neighbours and wider international affairs.
    Paper 05/24
  • Unemployment by constituency, February 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in February 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in February 2004 and February 1997. It also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 659 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/23
  • The Smoking in Public Places (Wales) Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill seeks to give the National Assembly of Wales powers to make regulations, which would allow it to prohibit or restrict the smoking of tobacco products in public places in Wales. The provisions would only extend to Wales. The Bill is sponsored by Julie Morgan.
    Paper 05/22
  • The Inquiries Bill [HL] (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill aims to modernise the framework for conducting statutory inquiries set up by Ministers into events that have caused public concern or which have the potential to cause public concern. The Bill repeals the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921, the current statutory basis for many of the major inquiries of this type, as well as a number of other legislative inquiry provisions.
    Paper 05/21
  • The Education Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill provides the legislative basis for the Government’s 'New Relationship with Schools' proposals, the central feature of which is a reformed school inspection system. The Bill’s other main provisions include changes to the arrangements for school funding and school organisation, an extension of the Teacher Training Agency’s remit, and provision for the sharing of certain data.
    Paper 05/20
  • The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Amendment) Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill, introduced by Sir Paul Beresford, seeks to give the police specific powers to enter premises to find out whether a registered sex offender is staying there, and to search for information which would help them to assess the risk posed by a sex offender.
    Paper 05/19
  • Health and Safety (Directors' Duties) Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill, sponsored by Stephen Hepburn, seeks to amend the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Companies Act 1985 to introduce positive health and safety obligations on company directors. The provisions would apply to England, Wales and Scotland, but not to Northern Ireland.
    Paper 05/18
  • Economic Indicators, March 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries for selected indicators.  The paper also includes an article on debt relief for developing countries.
    Paper 05/17
  • The Drugs (Sentencing and Commission of Inquiry) Bill (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    The Bill, introduced by Nigel Evans, seeks to introduce mandatory sentencing for persons guilty of repeat offences in connection with the supply or offer to supply of class A drugs. The Bill would also establish a Commission of Inquiry into the effects and classification of cannabis.
    Paper 05/16
  • The Electoral Registration (Northern Ireland) Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This bill is designed to amend electoral registration procedures in Northern Ireland, so that former electors who failed to return the annual canvass in December 2004 can be carried over to the current register. The Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 abolished the power to carry-over names from one annual canvass to another (a power still used in Great Britain). The Chief Electoral Office of Northern Ireland has identified 83,000 former electors removed from the register at the 2004 canvass. . Paper 05/15
  • The Prevention of Terrorism Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill allows the Secretary of State to make ‘control orders’ to restrict the movements or behaviour of suspected terrorists who cannot be prosecuted or deported, or impose obligations on them. The orders would be subject to some judicial oversight. Orders which amounted to an infringement of liberty would require a derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights to be in force. Paper 05/14
  • Unemployment by constituency, January 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in January 2005, together with comparisons with the levels in January 2004 and January 1997. This paper also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 659 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/13
  • The European Union Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill paves the way for UK ratification of the Treaty 'Establishing a Constitution for Europe', which was signed on 29 October 2004, on condition that the Treaty is approved in a referendum. A Sewel motion is expected in the Scottish Parliament. This Paper looks at the Bill, treaty ratification in the UK, the referendum question and arrangements, progress towards ratification in the other EU Member States, and possible future scenarios in the event of a no-vote in one or more Member States.
    Paper 05/12
  •   Economic Indicators, February 2005 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries for selected indicators. This paper also includes an article on the rise of the Chinese economy.
    Paper 05/11
  • Unemployment by constituency, December 2004 (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This paper shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance recorded as resident in each constituency in the United Kingdom in December 2004, together with comparisons with the levels in December 2003 and December 1997. It also presents residence-based unemployment rates for all 659 constituencies in the UK.
    Paper 05/09
  • Unemployment by constituency: revised rates (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The denominators used in these papers to calculate unemployment rates for constituencies have been revised. This paper explains how the denominators have been updated using data from the 2001 Census. It also shows how this change has affected the unemployment rates in each constituency.
    Paper 05/08
  • The Drugs Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill seeks to introduce new measures to deal with the problems caused by the misuse of controlled drugs. It concentrates on measures designed to break the link between drug use and crime and seeks to introduce harsher sentences for dealers who target children or who attempt to evade arrest by swallowing the evidence. The Bill would introduce further powers for police to test those suspected of misusing drugs on arrest, and require those who test positive to attend an assessment.  Paper 05/07
  •   The Constitutional Reform Bill [HL] - the office of the Lord Chancellor (PDF PDF 23 KB)
    This paper examines the proposals of tthis Bill in respect of the office of Lord Chancellor. The original Government proposal was to abolish the office altogether, but the Bill has been amended, following Government defeats during the Lords passage of the Bill. These amendments require the Lord Chancellor to be both a peer and a senior lawyer, but the Bill ends his role as head of the judiciary. The Bill is subject to a Sewel motion in respect of its provisions relating to Scotland.
    Paper 05/05
  • The Transport (Wales) Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    The Bill seeks to introduce a variety of measures related to the provision of transport to, from and within Wales. The general effect of the Bill would be to extend the powers of the National Assembly in the area of transport and to produce a better integrated transport system for Wales. The Bill extends primarily to Wales with some provisions also affecting England.
    Paper 05/04
  • The Consumer Credit Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    This Bill follows the publication in December 2003 of a Government White Paper, 'Fair, Clear and Competitive - The Consumer Credit Market in the 21st Century' and a three-year review on modernising the UK’s consumer credit laws. The Bill principally amends the Consumer Credit Act 1974. It seeks to enhance consumer rights and also to strengthen the credit licensing system and equip the Office of Fair Trading with new powers to take action against rogue lenders.
    Paper 05/03
  • The Child Benefit Bill (PDF PDF 22 KB)
    As part of the a long-term intention to create a single, simplified system of financial support for young people, the Government announced short-term measures including the extension of Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit to unwaged trainees aged 16-19. Changes to benefit and tax credit rules are planned to ensure that young people who reach 19 before they have finished school or college continue to be eligible for benefits and tax credits until they complete their course.
    Paper 05/02