Measuring National Wellbeing
Published Monday, September 17, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-421
This POSTnote summarises the latest research on measuring national wellbeing, its components and causes, and examines some policy implications.
Winter Fuel Payments for “off-gas grid” households
Published Friday, August 24, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06408
Four million (15% of) households in the UK are not connected to the mains gas grid and their average fuel costs are signifiantly higher than those with a mains gas supply. A Private Members Bill presented by Mike Weir MP aims to help older off-grid households by bringing forward the timing of Winter Fuel Payments to enable them to purchase fuel at a time of year when prices are likely to be lower.
Published Thursday, July 26, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers RP12-38
Olympic Britain tells the story of the profound economic and social change in the UK since the two previous London Olympics, in 1908 and 1948, using statistics and expert analysis. The book can also be browsed using the Parliament website at www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/olympic-britain/
Topics: Agriculture, Armed forces, Crime, Crown, Economic situation, Employment, Housing, Incomes and poverty, Leisure, Parliament, Population, Sports and Olympic Games
Regional house prices: affordability and income ratios
Published Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN01922
In 2011 the ratio of lower quartile house price to lower quartile earnings in England was 6.5. The highest ratios are found in London (9.0), the South East (8.2) and the South West (7.8).
Assessing Energy Efficiency
Published Friday, May 25, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-409
This POSTnote examines definitions of energy efficiency, looks at methods to measure and verify achieved energy savings and summarises UK and EU polices to promote energy efficiency.
The draft Energy Bill 2012
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06324
The 2012 Queen’s Speech announced that "My Government will propose reform of the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity and ensure prices are fair”. This will be done through the latest in a line of Energy Bills, published in draft for pre-legislative scrutiny on 22 May 2012.
The 'conservatory tax'
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06301
Changes to the building regulations are currently being consulted upon. These have led to press reports of a ‘conservatory tax’ of up to 10% on certain home improvements, through required associated energy efficiency measures. Reports have also said that people will be forced to take out green deal loans if they cannot afford to fund these improvements.
Energy Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report
Published Tuesday, September 6, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers RP11-64
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Energy Bill. It complements Library Research Paper 11/36 (Energy Bill) prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
Energy Bill [HL]
Published Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers RP11-36
This briefing on the Energy Bill has been prepared for the Second Reading Debate in the House of Commons. The flagship policy in the Bill is the “Green Deal”, a scheme whereby homes would be given finance upfront to make energy efficiency improvements, which would then be paid for by energy bill savings. The Bill would also set up a new obligation on energy companies to help certain groups of consumers with saving energy, who need extra support.
The Bill also introduces a range of other measures designed to improve energy efficiency; such as facilitating the roll-out of smart meters, widening access to energy performance certificates and making information on energy bills clearer. The Bill also provides measures designed to help improve energy security, to encourage low carbon generation and to grant additional powers to the Coal Authority to charge for certain services.
Cold Weather Payments for winter 2010/2011
Published Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05811
Cold Weather Payments are made to certain claimants of means-tested benefits during periods of very cold weather. To trigger the £25 payments, the average temperature in an area must be recorded as, or forecast to be, 0Â°C or below for seven consecutive days.
Savings Account and Health in Pregnancy Grant Bill: Committee Stage Report
Published Thursday, November 18, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers RP10-77
The Bill gives effect to decisions made as part of the initial review of public expenditure undertaken soon after the 2010 General Election. This Paper summarises proceedings in the Commons Committee Stage of the Bill. Several amendments proposed but none were successful. The paper complements Research Paper 10/66, which was prepared for the Second Reading of the Bill.
Global Economic Crisis & developing countries
Published Friday, April 30, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05146
This note was last published on 26 August 2009 and will not be updated. In the early stages of the financial crisis there were hopes that it would be largely contained within developed economies, with developing economies having 'decoupled' from them. These early hopes proved unfounded, with developing countries struck by declining trade, a loss of investor confidence and withdrawal of investment, a fall in the value of vital remittances, and much reduced growth and contraction in some cases. There are also fears that aid flows may suffer in the aftermath of the crisis. This note summarises key reports and statistics, with links to further resources.
Topics: Africa, Asia, Economic policy, Economic situation, Incomes and poverty, International development, International economic relations, International politics and government, International trade, Latin America, World economy
Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill [Bill 21 of 2009-10]
Published Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers RP10-16
The Bill seeks to amend the 2007 Act by setting a deadline for the Secretary of State to initiate the next round of proposals for enhancing the sustainability of local communities from local authorities under the Act. It provides for regulations to be made specifying the rules for this process. These are also to cover parish council involvement and the role of local petitioning. There is also provision for greater flexibility in decision-making on proposals.
Support for domestic energy users
Published Monday, January 25, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN04873
This note sets out financial support available to domestic energy consumers, including grants for central heating, insulation, microgeneration equipment and social security measures. It also explains how to seek advice or information about gas and electricity problems from Consumer Direct and the Energy Ombudsman.
Cold Weather Payments
Published Friday, January 22, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN00696
Cold Weather Payments. By Steven Kennedy. SN/SP/696.
Energy Bill. Bill 7 2009-10.
Published Thursday, December 3, 2009 | Commons Briefing papers RP09-88
The Bill would introduce: a carbon capture and storage incentive to support the construction of up to four UK demonstration projects, to be chosen in a competition; mandatory social price support to lower energy bills (social tariffs) for the most vulnerable, which would replace the current voluntary agreement which expires in 2011. It would also add ensuring security of supply and protecting consumers to the objectives of the regulator, Ofgem; increase the regulator’s powers to deal with exploitation of electricity distribution constraints by generators; and increase Ofgem’s power to fine companies. It would give the Secretary of State the power to ban cross-subsidy between gas and electricity accounts.
Child Poverty Bill: Committee Stage Report. Bill 10 2009-10.
Published Thursday, December 3, 2009 | Commons Briefing papers RP09-89
The Bill fulfils the Government’s commitment made in September 2008 to enshrine the 2020 child poverty target in legislation. It establishes four separate child poverty targets to be met by 2020/21, requires the UK Government to publish a regular UK child poverty strategy, requires the Scottish and Northern Irish Ministers to publish child poverty strategies, establishes a Child Poverty Commission to provide advice, requires the UK Government to publish annual progress reports, and places new duties on local authorities and other “delivery partners”’ in England to work together to tackle child poverty.
UK income inequality (with international comparisons)
Published Thursday, July 30, 2009 | Commons Briefing papers SN03870
Income inequality has generally increased over the past two decades, stablising on one measure, but increasing further on another.
This note updates Library Research Paper (RP04/70), Incomes, Wealth & Inequality. It includes the 2007/08 UK data and European/OECD comparisons.
Progress towards the 2010/11 child poverty target, the 2020 target & the Child Poverty Bill
Published Thursday, July 2, 2009 | Commons Briefing papers SN03314
The Government set targets to reduce child poverty by a quarter between 1998/99 and 2004/05, as a step towards halving it by 2010/11 and a goal of 'eradicating' it by 2020.
A Bill to enhsrine the 2020 target has been published. A Library research paper on the bil is aviailable at http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2009/RP09-062.pdf
The 2004/05 target was missed (see SN/EP/4759 for details). A new composite measure of three indicators was then adopted, one of which constitutes the national target of halving child poverty by 2010/11.