The UK’s arts and entertainment sector has been one of the areas worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The decline in revenues and the number of workers furloughed over the past few months is second only to the accommodation and food sector. This article examines the impact of the pandemic on the UK’s cultural industry and the Government’s recently announced support package worth £1.57 billion aimed at helping the sector recover.

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    Children whose parents or guardians get certain benefits, and all children up to year 2, are entitled to a free school meal during term time. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Government introduced supermarket vouchers to cover the cost of a meal while the schools were closed. This scheme was extended into the Easter, May half term and summer school holidays. On 14 September 2020, Baroness D’Souza is due to ask the Government what assessment they have made of extending a programme of free meals and activities into all future school holidays.

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    This article analyses the 36 new peerages announced by the Prime Minister on 31 July 2020. It provides statistics on the background, gender and party affiliation of the new peers. The article also compares the number and gender balance of peers created by Boris Johnson with those of the former Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May.

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    The Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013 (Remedial) Order 2019 makes changes to the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013. These changes are the result of decisions made in the courts on the act’s compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights. This article looks at the court cases which led to the remedial order, ahead of its debate in the House of Lords on 3 September 2020.

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    Scientific research in universities is funded through a mix of public money, EU funding and other sources. This article considers the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report on the pressures on science research funding in universities, including proposals in the Augar Review to lower the existing cap on tuition fees and the potential impact of Brexit. The committee’s report is due to debated in the House of Lords on 9 September 2020.

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    This article summarises the conclusions of three House of Lords committee reports on the powers of Parliament to scrutinise treaties. In the context of Brexit, there have been calls for Parliament’s powers of scrutiny of treaties and trade agreements to be strengthened. The committee reports are due to be debated in the House of Lords on 7 September 2020.

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    On 23 July 2020 the Government laid regulations requiring people to wear face coverings in shops and some other indoor venues. The House of Lords is due to debate these regulations in September 2020. This article provides an overview of the regulations and the background to their introduction.

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    There is no formal retirement age for members of the House of Lords. However, members can voluntarily retire under the provisions of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014. This article explains how these provisions came into force and details how many members have retired under this legislation so far.

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    The coronavirus lockdown was introduced to reduce the spread of the disease. However, it also gave rise to substantial costs, both to the economy and in areas such as health, education, domestic violence and inequality. This article considers one analysis of these costs and how they compare to the benefits of the lockdown. This is the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 28 July 2020.

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    The next UK-wide census was due to take place in March 2021. However, the Scottish Government has recently announced that the census in Scotland will be delayed until 2022. This article, marking the centenary of the Census Act 1920, considers the implications of the Scottish announcement and also other policy developments relating to the forthcoming census.