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.
Migration pressures in Europe
Published 26 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7210
The crisis over deaths in of migrants in the Mediterranean has brought calls for decisive action from the EU.
Housing Benefit: withdrawing entitlement from 18-21 year olds
Published 26 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN06473
The Government intends to withdraw Housing Benefit entitlement from some 18-21 year olds from April 2017. This briefing considers evidence on the potential impact of withdrawal and provides comment from organisations and those working with young homeless people.
Climate Change Levy: renewable energy
Published 26 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7283
In the July 2015 Budget the Government announced it would scrap the Climate Change Levy exemption which applies to electricity generated by renewable sources. This paper discusses the background to the Government's decision.
Permitted Development Rights
Published 26 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN00485
Permitted development rights allow changes to be made to buildings and use of land without needing planning permission. The former Government introduced a number of new permitted development rights which came into force in April 2015, which are set out in this note.
Planning Reform Proposals
Published 26 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN06418
Reforms aimed at making the planning system quicker and simpler to use are high on the Government's agenda, as set out in the Productivity Plan. The Conservative Party's manifesto and new legislation announced in the May 2015 Queen's Speech also propose changes. This note sets out both the outstanding reforms from the former Government and these new proposals.
The School Day and Year
Published 26 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN07148
The rules and debate relating to the setting of school hours and term times. Do children benefit from a longer school day or year?
Shop opening hours including Sunday trading
Published 25 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN05522
The purpose of this note is to look in more detail at permissible shop opening hours. In the process, it also summarises the background to the Sunday Trading Act 1994 and the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004. This note also considers the August 2015 consultation paper on whether the Government should devolve Sunday trading rules as part of its localism agenda in order to give local areas greater control of their local economy.
Customs and Traditions in the House of Lords
Published 24 August 2015 | Lords Library notes LLN-2015-0025
This Library Note describes a selection of the customs and traditions, rules of behaviour and courtesies of the House of Lords. It illustrates the key ceremonies in the House of Lords, including the State Opening of Parliament, and highlights some of the less-known traditions. The Note also identifies changes that have taken place in recent decades, highlighting the way customs and traditions evolve over time.
Extending the Right to Buy (England)
Published 24 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7224
This briefing explains the Government's proposal to extend the Right to Buy to assured tenants of housing associations. The measure, which is proving to be controversial, requires primary legislation and will be included in a forthcoming Housing Bill.
Securing UK Soil Health
Published 24 August 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0502
2015 is the United Nations International Year of Soils. Soils underpin the global food system and regulate water, carbon and nitrogen cycles but are subject to pressures from population growth and climate change. In England & Wales, soil degradation costs around £1bn per year. This POSTnote outlines the evidence for measures that sustain soils and existing policies affecting soil health.
Rent setting: social housing (England)
Published 24 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN01090
This note explains key policy developments in relation to setting social housing rent levels in England since 2002.
NEET: Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training
Published 21 August 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN06705
922,000 people aged 16-24 were NEET in the second quarter of 2015, 12.7% of people in this age group. Schemes introduced by the previous Government with elements aimed at reducing the number of young people who are NEET included: raising the participation age, the Youth Contract and the Work Programme.