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  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Covid-19 and public transport

    This article focuses on how the coronavirus pandemic has affected public transport and what action the Government has taken on the issue.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Covid-19: Impact on low-income families and social security support

    The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits, which includes some people working but on low incomes, increased by over 100 percent between March and August 2020. There is also some evidence that people on low incomes saw a higher than average drop in income at the onset of the pandemic. This article provides information on selected government support schemes and when some are due to expire.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Violent crime, burglaries and gang activity

    This article presents statistics and information on violent crime, burglaries and gang activity in England and Wales ahead of a House of Lords debate on 20 October 2022. It also provides details on and reaction to the government’s attempts to address these issues, including its ‘beating crime plan’ and efforts to increase police numbers.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Cost of living: housing affordability

    This article discusses the potential impact of the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the removal of the temporary uplift to the standard allowance of Universal Credit and the rise in fuel prices on the cost of living and on people’s ability to pay their monthly mortgage and rental payments. It also examines recent commentary on the subject.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Covid-19: motions to approve statutory instruments relating to public health

    On 8 December 2021, the Government announced that England would move to ‘plan B’ of its Covid-19 response. This followed concerns about the increased spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in the UK. Plan B consists of several measures that the Government is now seeking to implement. The House of Lords is due to consider some of these measures on 15 December 2021.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Covid-19: Changes to the self-isolation period and the areas in tier 3

    These coronavirus regulations reduced the length of the self-isolation period from 14 days down to 10 and added new areas, including London, to the list of places in tier 3. They are part of the Government’s ongoing strategy to control the spread of coronavirus. The regulations need to be approved by both Houses of Parliament or they will cease to be law.

  • House of Lords Library

    Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: World Affairs (May 2020)

    Catch up on international affairs articles you may have missed in May 2020, including Germany's approach to tackling coronavirus and plans to reopen the US economy.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Covid-19: protecting jobs and livelihoods as the UK economy recovers

    The coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions introduced to manage it has had a large impact on the UK economy, jobs and businesses. On 20 April 2021, the House of Lords will debate the steps being taken to protect jobs and livelihoods as the economy recovers. This article provides links to related reading material.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Solent ferry services: regret motion

    Successive MPs for the Isle of Wight have argued that ferry services between the island and the mainland are not competitive enough. A statutory instrument introduced in response to Covid-19 suspended some elements of competition law in relation to ferry services across the Solent. A motion due to be moved in the House of Lords expresses regret that the order revoking this suspension does not address competition issues.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Calls for a UK industrial strategy

    The UK last set out a formal industrial strategy in 2017. Since 2021, the government has instead pursued various plans for growth. This briefing provides details on the UK’s industrial policies, commentary on the benefits and use of industrial strategies, and brief statistics about UK industry.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Pandemic insurance and government as insurer of last resort

    This article looks at the Government’s role as ‘insurer of last resort’. Over time, the areas where it takes this role have expanded from basic military, health and welfare provision to include, for example, elements of flood, terrorism and travel risks. Coronavirus has widened this scope further. The article also considers the costs of providing cover, and whether the private sector might cover more of the risks arising from pandemics.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Covid-19: Lockdown legislation for the north of England

    In July 2020, the Government announced that it would introduce ‘local lockdowns’ in certain areas in the north of England in response to rates of Covid-19 that were above the national average. In early August, it made regulations to provide for these restrictions. The Government has since amended these with other instruments to reflect the changes in transmission rates and the easing of national restrictions. This article provides information on the original instrument and those which amended it.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford local lockdown

    In July 2020, a local lockdown was introduced in Blackburn with Darwen and in Luton. This followed the introduction of similar measures in Leicester. In August 2020, Luton was taken out of local lockdown. At the same time, restrictions were introduced for Bradford. This article summarises the measures introduced and how they have changed over time.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Covid-19: Revised tiers for England

    The Government has announced that the England-wide Covid-19 restrictions commonly referred to as ‘lockdown 2’ will not be renewed past 2 December 2020. The restrictions are to be replaced with a revised tier structure for England similar to the one in place before the second lockdown. The revised tiers form part of the Government’s Winter Plan, which was announced on 23 November 2020.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    UK biosecurity: Infectious disease threats

    This briefing considers the impact of factors such as globalisation and climate change on the prevalence of various infectious diseases in the UK affecting humans, animals and plants. The briefing also summarises the government’s ‘Biological security strategy’ (June 2023), which provides the overarching framework for mitigating biological risks among other area-focused strategies. The government has also said that import controls are an important element of the UK’s biosecurity regime.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Leicester lockdown: Changes since July 2020

    In June 2020, the Government announced a local lockdown would be implemented in Leicester and surrounding areas. This was intended to limit the spread of Covid-19. This article provides an overview of how the local lockdown in Leicester and surrounding areas was introduced and the subsequent changes to the rules.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Primary and community care: Improving patient outcomes

    This article details primary and community care services and examines their impact on patient outcomes. It also considers recent government policy which has sought to improve these outcomes and discusses several proposals for reforming such services.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Autumn 2020 spending review

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered a spending review statement on 25 November 2020. The Government said the review’s priorities were “to support the Government’s response to Covid-19, invest in the UK’s recovery and deliver on promises to the British people”. Alongside the spending review, the Office for Budget Responsibility set out its latest forecasts for the economy and for the public finances.