Financial Technology (FinTech)
Published Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0525
Financial Technology (FinTech) describes the application of digital technology to financial services. This POSTnote reviews how and why FinTech is being used, and the benefits and challenges it presents to the UK.
Topics: Companies, Competition, Consumers, Economic policy, Equality, Financial institutions, Financial services, Information technology, Internet and cybercrime, Privacy, Regulation, Research and innovation, Small businesses, Standards
Prison reform legislation 2016-17
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7601
This note sets out what the Government has said so far about its proposals to introduce a Prison and Courts Reform Bill in this session of Parliament.
Royal Charters and Parliamentary Scrutiny
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 | Lords Library notes LLN-2016-0027
This Library briefing provides information on royal charters, outlining the Sovereign’s prerogative power to grant them, and briefly describing their function. It also provides an overview of two examples of royal charters—the self-regulation of the press and the BBC—and discusses Parliament’s role in their scrutiny.
Social housing: 'pay to stay' at market rents
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN06804
This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides information on the ‘pay to stay’ scheme in England under which social landlords can charge tenants with an income of over £60,000 market or near market rents. The Government has included measures in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, to make higher rents compulsory in due course for council tenants earning over £40,000 in London and £31,000 elsewhere. Housing associations will have discretion over whether or not to implement higher rents for tenants with these income levels.
Review of unduly lenient sentences
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN00512
The Attorney General has the power to refer sentences for certain offences which he believes to be unduly lenient to the Court of Appeal. The Attorney General’s power to refer only applies to serious offences, being those that can only be dealt with by the Crown Court and some other offences specified in an order.
Self-employment in the construction industry
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN00196
This note gives some background to the question of employment status and the difficulties it has caused in the construction sector, before discussing initiatives by both the Labour Government in 2009 and the Coalition Government in 2014, and more recent debates as to the possibility of a longer-term solution to this issue.
Registration and management of sex offenders
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN05267
This note provides an overview of the various measures in Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 aimed at enabling the police to monitor and manage sex offenders living in the local area. It considers the requirement for certain sex offenders to notify the police of personal information such as their name and address, and to update the police whenever this information changes. The police record of these notifications is commonly referred to as the "sex offenders' register". It also considers a range of civil orders that can be used to manage the behaviour of sex offenders.
Average Earnings: Key Economic Indicators
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN02795
Average Earnings: Regularly updated data on average weekly earnings, including breakdowns by public and private sectors.
Scottish Parliament Elections: 2016
Published Friday, May 20, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7599
Elections to the Scottish Parliament took place on 5 May 2016. The Scottish National Party won the largest number of seats (63), but lost the majority they held in the preceding Parliament. The Conservative Party came second with 31 seats, their best performance at any Scottish Parliament elections. Turnout was 55.7%, an increase of 5.3% points from 2011.
VAT : European law on VAT rates
Published Friday, May 20, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN02683
All Member States have limited discretion in setting VAT rates under EU VAT law. This note discusses the development of European law in this area, and the implications this has for the UK setting its own VAT rates.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
Published Friday, May 20, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN01917
This Commons Library briefing paper gives an overview of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The HHSRS is a risk based assessment tool which is used by environmental health officers to assess the risk (the likelihood and severity) of a hazard in residential housing to the health and safety of occupants or visitors. The paper looks at some of the reviews and reports into the operation of the HHSRS. It also looks briefly at wider housing conditions and standards.
Business and Consumer Confidence: Key Economic Indicators
Published Friday, May 20, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN02817
Business and Consumer Confidence: Information on business and consumer confidence surveys, which is generally released ahead of official statistical data and can indicate changes to the economic outlook as well as turning points in the economic cycle.