Supply of affordable housing

Affordable housing accounted for 27 percent of all new additions to the housing stock in England in 2022/23. In recent years, the government has introduced several initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing. This includes launching the first homes scheme, which seeks to assist first-time buyers and key workers in purchasing properties at discounted rates. However, some housing stakeholders have called on the government to provide further funding towards the construction of affordable homes.

Supply of affordable housing

UK-India relations: 2030 roadmap and future trade partnership

The UK and India have a complex and multifaceted history. In recent years, their relationship has focused on political and economic cooperation. Both countries have agreed to a framework setting out future relations and are currently negotiating a free trade agreement. With India’s next general election scheduled to take place between April and June 2024, this briefing analyses the potential trajectory of UK-India relations.

UK-India relations: 2030 roadmap and future trade partnership

Regulation of news broadcasting companies

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) is the regulator for the communications industry in the UK. It licences broadcasters and enforces content standards through its broadcasting code. In recent years, the government has sought to change the regulation of media companies by introducing legislation to update the framework governing broadcasting. It has also launched a mid-term review evaluating the effectiveness of the governance and regulation of the BBC.

Regulation of news broadcasting companies
  • In Focus

    Windrush scandal and compensation scheme

    The Windrush generation refers to individuals who migrated to the UK from Commonwealth countries between 1948 and 1973. Despite legal entitlement to stay, many faced job losses, denial of services and removal. In 2018, the then government acknowledged their mistreatment and introduced measures including the creation of a compensation scheme for those affected. However, several reviews have raised concerns about the accessibility and effectiveness of the scheme to date.

  • In Focus

    Closure of high street banks: Impact on local communities

    There has been a decline in the number of bank branches in operation in the UK over the last three decades. This has reportedly impacted many people, including those with disabilities, older people and those living in rural areas. In recent years, the government has sought to mitigate the impact of branch closures by introducing legislation containing provisions to protect access to cash services and publishing a policy statement outlining its minimum expectations to banks regarding services being removed or changed.

  • In Focus

    UK contribution to international development: Mitigating the impact of climate change on developing nations

    The UK government spent £12.79bn in official development assistance in 2022. A portion of this support was focused on mitigating the impact of climate change on developing countries, including through measures outlined in the government’s international development white paper and through contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s green climate fund. However, some stakeholders have called on the government to provide further support, particularly in relation to its spending commitments.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: International Affairs (December 2023)

    In recent years, Central and West Africa have witnessed several successful military coups, raising concerns about the stability and democratic progress of the region. This briefing examines how regional and international bodies have reacted to these coups and discusses the potential implications for democracy and security in Africa.

  • In Focus

    Free NHS prescriptions: Eligibility for benefit claimants

    In England, individuals in receipt of certain benefits or who meet specific criteria are eligible for free NHS prescriptions. The government have announced that they plan to terminate certain universal credit claims, and consequently revoke benefits such as free prescriptions, for those who fail to meet employment requirements. This has led to fears about its potential adverse impact on the health and wellbeing of affected individuals.

  • In Focus

    King’s Speech 2023: Levelling up, housing and communities

    The King’s Speech is set to take place on 7 November 2023. This briefing considers the possible measures the government may announce relating to levelling up, housing and communities. This includes introducing legislation to reform the leasehold system. In addition, carry-over motions agreed in the previous parliamentary session will see the continuation of the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill, Holocaust Memorial Bill and Renters (Reform) Bill.

  • In Focus

    Impact of ultra-processed food on children’s health

    Ultra-processed foods have undergone a high degree of industrial processing and are typically high in calories, salt, saturated fat and sugar. Studies have linked these foods to obesity and other health risks. The government has expressed its concern over these potential links but has stated that the underlying causes are not yet fully understood. Therefore, government policy has focused on reducing the consumption of foods high in salt, saturated fat and sugar.

  • In Focus

    UK: Long-term strategic challenges posed by China

    The government has described China as an “epoch-defining and systemic challenge” to the UK. Its approach towards China is based on several factors, including shared economic interests, security concerns and human rights considerations. While some commentators have welcomed the government’s approach towards China, others have called on the government to take a tougher approach, such as designating China as a “threat” under national security legislation.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: Home Affairs (September 2023)

    Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) experienced two data breaches in July and August 2023. In the first breach, a laptop and documents were stolen from a private vehicle, exposing the names of over 200 officers and staff. In the second breach, the police service accidentally published the personal details of 10,000 officers and staff online. This article examines the ramifications of the data breaches and discusses the political reaction to them.

  • In Focus

    UK-China relations

    The relationship between the UK and China is complex and multifaceted. In recent decades the relationship has been shaped by events such as the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. Economic ties have also played a significant role in relations, with China being one of the UK’s largest trading partners. However, disagreements on issues such as human rights and governance in Hong Kong continue to strain relations.

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