Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 81-100 out of 114

Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill
Published Friday, January 4, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers RP13-1
Social security legislation requires the Secretary of State to review benefit levels each year to determine whether they have retained their value relative to prices. For most benefits annual uprating is not mandatory, but historically governments have exercised their discretion by increasing the principal means-tested working-age benefits each April in line with prices. In his 2012 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that increases in most working-age benefits would be limited to 1% a year for three years from 2013-14, as part of a package to deliver additional welfare savings of £3.7 billion a year by 2015-16. The Bill amends primary legislation to enable the decisions on uprating in 2014-15 and 2015-16 to be implemented.
The Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance
Published Friday, November 30, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN05850
The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) was introduced in October 2008 to assess entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Between now and 2014, 1.5 million incapacity benefits claimants will also undergo the WCA. The WCA has however proved controversial and remains so, depsite changes to the test itself and how it is applied as a result of Government an independent reviews.
Localisation of the Social Fund
Published Friday, November 16, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06413
As a result of measures in the Welfare Reform Act 2012, certain elements of the discretionary Social Fund scheme will be replaced by new locally based provision delivered by local authorities in England and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.
Personal Independence Payment: an introduction
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06422
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to replace Disability Living Allowance for people of working age, between April 2013 and March 2016. The changes will affect existing working age DLA claimants, as well as those making a new claim. For those existing DLA claimants found not to satisfy the conditions for PIP on reassessment, their DLA will stop.
Universal Credit: an introduction
Published Friday, November 9, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06469
Starting from next year, Universal Credit (UC) will begin to replace a range of means-tested benefits and tax credits for working age families. The intention is to simplify and streamline the benefits system for claimants, making it easier for people to understand; to reduce the financial and administrative barriers to work; to tackle in-work poverty; and to bear down on fraud and error.
Cold Weather Payments for winter 2012/2013
Published Thursday, October 25, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06074
Cold Weather Payments of 25 pounds a week are made to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. To ‘trigger’ the payments, the average temperature at a specified weather station must be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days.
ESA and Incapacity benefit statistics
Published Friday, July 13, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN01420
A summary of statistics relating to Employment and Support Allowance and other incapacity-related benefits.
Assessing Capacity for Work
Published Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-413
This briefing discusses the role of the Work Capability Assessment and its suitability as a gateway to benefit.
ESA and incapacity benefits - constituency statistics for Great Britain
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN03301
Statistics on working-age claimants of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and its predecessor incapacity-related benefits in each constituency in Great Britain. In November 2011 there were 2.57 million claimants of these benefits in Great Britain.
ESA assessments and reassessments: Social Indicators article
Published Friday, April 27, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06308
A summary of the latest figures on outcomes of ESA Work Capability Assessments - published as part of the April 2012 edition of Social Indicators.
Social Indicators
Published Friday, April 27, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers RP12-21
A compendium of the latest social statistics. This edition includes articles: Constituency-level crime data, ESA assessments and reassessments and Measuring well-being
Time limiting of contributory Employment and Support Allowance from 30 April 2012
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06305
The 2010 Spending Review announced that contributory Employment and Support Allowance for claimants in the Work-Related Activity Group would be limited to 12 months. The time limit takes effect on 30 April 2012. For some claimants, benefit will stop immediately. All recipients of contributory ESA in the WRAG, including Incapacity Benefit claimants “migrated” to ESA on reassessment, will be affected by the time limit. Savings of almost £1.5 billion a year are expected by 2015-16.
Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12: amendments at the Lords Committee and Report stages
Published Friday, January 27, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06202
The Welfare Reform Bill has its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 31 January 2012. At Report Stage in the Lords, the government suffered defeats on amendments relating to under-occupation of social housing, the Employment and Support Allowance, the proposed benefit cap, and child support maintenance
Uprating of social security benefits
Published Monday, December 5, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN06141
Most but not all benefits are uprated in April each year, by reference to the increase in prices over the year to the previous September. The current Government has adopted the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) as the measure of inflation for uprating purposes. CPI tends to rise more slowly than the measures used. previously. The CPI for September 2011 was higher than expected, and media reports have suggested that the Government was considering changing the basis for uprating benefits. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that while benefits would increase by the full CPI from April 2011, the couple and lone parent elements of Working Tax Credit would be frozen and the child element of Child Tax Credit would increase by less than was planned.
Welfare Reform Bill: reform of disability benefits, Housing Benefit, and other measures
Published Friday, March 4, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers RP11-23
This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. For information on the provision in the Bill relating to the introduction of Universal Credit, please see the complementary Library Research Paper, 11/24. Besides Universal Credit, the Bill proposes a number of other significant welfare reforms, including replacement of the current Disability Living Allowance, restriction of Housing Benefit entitlement to social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need, time-limiting the payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance to twelve months, and capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.
Welfare Reform and the Universal Credit
Published Thursday, February 17, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05782
On 11 November 2010 the Government set out plans for a 'Universal Credit' to replace most in work and out of work benefits for people of working age. This note gives an overview of the main features of the Universal Credit and looks at some of the issues raised by the proposals.
Disability Living Allowance reform
Published Monday, February 14, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05869
The June 2010 Budget announced that a new "objective medical assessment" would be introduced for both new and existing working age DLA claims from 2013-14, saving over £1 billion a year by 2014-15 and reducing the DLA caseload by 20%. On 6 December the Government published a consultation paper, Disability Living Allowance reform, which sets out plans for an entirely new benefit - the "Personal Independence Payment" - to replace DLA, starting from 2013-14.
Time-limiting contributory Employment and Support Allowance
Published Thursday, February 3, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05853
The Spending Review on 20 October 2010 announced that, from April 2012, for those Employment and Support Allowance claimants assessed as eligible for the Work Related Activity Group, contributory ESA will only be payable for up to one year. Some claimants affected by the change will be able to claim income-based ESA, but it is estimated that around 280,000 could lose entitlement to ESA completely.
Disability Living Allowance mobility component for people in care homes
Published Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05841
The October 2010 Spending Review announced that the DLA mobility component would be withdrawn from people in care homes whose place was funded by a public body. The proposal was dropped by the Government during the passage of Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12. This note gives background to the original proposal and summarises initial reactions to it.
Support for Mortgage Interest: the standard rate from 1 October 2010 (archived)
Published Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05818
This Commons Library briefing paper has been archived as it no longer offers up-to-date information. However, we have published other papers which may be of interest.

Displaying 81-100 out of 114

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