Social Housing (Regulation) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 21 of 2022–23

The Social Housing (Regulation) Bill [HL] is a government bill that seeks to facilitate a new, proactive approach to regulating social housing landlords on consumer issues such as safety, transparency and tenant engagement. It also aims to refine the existing economic regulatory regime and strengthen the sector regulator’s powers. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill’s second reading on 27 June 2022.

Social Housing (Regulation) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 21 of 2022–23

Cost of living, economic resilience and government policy

The cost of living has been increasing for households across the UK since early 2021. This is due to a variety of factors, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affecting food and energy prices. At the same time, tax and benefit changes have added pressure to the capacity of household incomes to absorb rising prices. The government has announced successive packages of measures aimed at supporting households as they face rising living costs.

Cost of living, economic resilience and government policy
  • In Focus

    International Agreements Committee report on improving the framework for the parliamentary scrutiny of treaties

    In September 2021, the House of Lords International Agreements Committee published a report on its experiences scrutinising agreements under the current statutory framework for treaty scrutiny. Among its recommendations, the committee called for government commitments on scrutiny working practices made since April 2020 to be consolidated in a formal concordat. The committee also asked the government to commit to giving it more notice of both treaties set to be laid before Parliament and significant other agreements.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Health and social care

    The next Queen’s Speech, in which the Government will set out its legislative programme for the new parliamentary session, will be delivered on 10 May 2022. The speech and accompanying briefing notes are expected to detail some health and social care-related initiatives. These could include a draft bill to reform the Mental Health Act 1983 and measures to ban conversion therapy in respect of a person’s sexual orientation.

  • In Focus

    Ukrainian refugees

    Over 4 million refugees have left Ukraine since 24 February 2022, when Russia launched its current invasion of the country. At least a further 6.5 million people are displaced within Ukraine. The UK Government has launched family and sponsorship schemes to allow Ukrainians to seek refuge in the UK. However, critics have alleged that the processes involved are slow and causing frustration for both Ukrainian refugees and their sponsors.

  • In Focus

    Trade union regulations: regret motion

    The Government has introduced regulations that would allow the Certification Officer, which regulates trade unions and employers’ associations, to charge a levy to fund its work. A second set of regulations would give the post holder powers to impose financial penalties on relevant bodies for non-compliance with statutory requirements. The Labour Party opposed the proposals in the House of Commons on the grounds they would harm trade unions and workers’ rights.

  • In Focus

    UK support for democracy in Taiwan

    The Government has described Taiwan as a stable and vibrant democracy, and an important economic partner. However, in the context of the complex relationship between Taiwan and mainland China, the UK does not formally recognise Taiwan as a sovereign state. The Government has called for a peaceful resolution to tensions between Taiwan and mainland China through constructive dialogue by both sides.

  • In Focus

    Glue Traps (Offences) Bill

    The Glue Traps (Offences) Bill is a private member’s bill that would make it an offence to use glue traps in England. Many groups consider the devices to be inhumane as they can cause trapped rodents and other animals to suffer. A licensing regime would permit exceptions for licenced pest controllers to use glue traps in exceptional circumstances.

  • In Focus

    Draft Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy

    The Government has published draft updates for a range of energy-related national policy statements first introduced in 2011. The statements provide guidance for those involved in determining development applications for major infrastructure projects. The Government has said the updates focus on regulatory, policy and technology changes.

  • In Focus

    Surveillance Camera Code of Practice: regret motion

    The Government has updated a code of practice that local authorities and the police must consider when using camera systems. Critics allege the code is part of a framework governing the use of facial recognition technology that is insufficient. In response, they have called for the framework to be improved or replaced or for use of facial recognition technology to be either temporarily or permanently suspended.

  • In Focus

    Data protection regulations and the immigration exemption

    In May 2021, the Court of Appeal ruled there was an unlawful incompatibility between provisions in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation. In response, the Government introduced the Data Protection Act 2018 (Amendment of Schedule 2 Exemption) Regulations 2022 to remedy the issue. These will come into force on 31 January 2022. Critics have alleged that the regulations introduce insufficient data protection safeguards.

  • In Focus

    Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill [HL]

    The Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill is a private member’s bill sponsored by Lord Morrow. It would oblige the Government to commence, or bring into force, sections of the Digital Economy Act 2017 relating to online pornography that have yet to be activated and which the Government plans to repeal and replace. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading on 28 January 2022.

  • In Focus

    Skeleton bills and delegated powers

    Several Lords committees have expressed concern about the increasing use of skeleton bills. These set out the principles for a policy but leave the detail to be filled in later by ministers through delegated powers. Because these powers are subject to less rigorous scrutiny than bills, there have been calls for the use of skeleton bills to be restricted alongside a broader reset in the balance of power between Parliament and government.

  • In Focus

    Freedom of speech: challenges and the role of public, private and civil society sectors in upholding rights

    On 10 December 2021, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate a motion tabled by the Archbishop of Canterbury “that this House takes note of contemporary challenges to freedom of speech, and the role of public, private and civil society sectors in upholding freedom of speech”. This article provides background information ahead of the debate.

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