Newly published official publications from :
Westminster and the UK Government
Social Indicators 2015 – “This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.”
Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965: 50 Years – “This In Focus highlights the 50th anniversary of the passing and enactment of the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act in 1965. It then presents some context for this anniversary by providing a snapshot of the situation with regards to the use of the death penalty worldwide.
The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 received royal assent on 8 November 1965 and came into force the next day, on 9 November 1965. It suspended capital punishment in the case of persons convicted of murder in Great Britain until 1970. MPs voted to make this permanent on 16 December 1969, with Peers voting likewise the next day.”
The Barnett formula – “This briefing looks at how the Barnett formula works and includes a brief summary of the debate surrounding the formula.
The majority of the devolved administrations’ spending is funded by grants from the UK government – the block grant being the largest. Since the late 1970s the non-statutory Barnett formula has determined annual changes in the block grant. The formula doesn’t determine the total amount of the block grant, just the yearly change.”
The Scottish Parliament and Government
Transplantation (Authorisation of Removal of Organs Etc) (Scotland) Bill – “The Transplantation (Authorisation of Removal of Organs Etc) (Scotland) Bill is a Member’s Bill which was introduced in the Scottish Parliament by Anne McTaggart MSP on 1 June 2015. The Bill provides for a move to a system of presumed consent for the removal of parts of a deceased adult’s body (organs, in particular) for the purposes of transplantation in the absence of express authorisation.
This briefing sets out the Bill’s main provisions and the response to these proposals from the Health and Sport Committee’s call for written evidence.”
Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill – “The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 8 October 2015. The Bill includes, amongst other things, provisions setting out a new specific domestic abuse aggravator; a new offence for the non-consensual sharing of private and intimate images (“revenge porn”); a requirement for juries in sexual offence cases to be given specific directions by the trial judge where certain conditions apply; and reforms to the system of civil orders available to protect communities from those who may commit sexual offences.
This briefing considers the background to and the main provisions within the Bill.”
Consultation on proposals for the introduction of the role of an Independent National (Whistleblowing) Officer for NHSScotland Staff – “In response to the ‘Freedom to Speak Up Review’ the Scottish Government made a commitment to develop and establish the role of an Independent National Whistleblowing Officer(INO)to provide an independent and external level of review on the handling of whistleblowing cases in NHSScotland.
This consultation seeks views on the following proposals:
1. The role of the INO;
2. Principles and process for raising concerns with the INO;
3. Should the INO have prescribed powers?
4. Where should the INO role be hosted;
5. Health and Social Care Integration;
6. What should the INO be called in Scotland?”
The European Union
Statistics explained Your guide to European statistics : 2015 edition – “Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting articles on statistical topics in an easily understandable way. Together, these articles make up an encyclopedia of European statistics for everyone, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and by numerous hyperlinks to further information. It is a portal of statistics for non-specialists and more skilled users.”
Is Europe saving away its future? European public funding for research in the era of fiscal consolidation – “Innovation-lagging and fiscally-weak countries have been cutting public R&I budgets, while the innovation-leading and fiscally stronger countries have forged ahead with public R&I spending during the crisis. The European Commission, with its growing share of resources for R&I, could only partly redress this increasing divide. Understanding the degree to which public R&I budgets in the EU have been used ‘smartly’ during the crisis requires an assessment of their long-term impact on growth. The European Commission should improve its capacity to assess the long term growth impact of public R&D spending in the EU.”
ERC grant schemes – “The European Research Council (ERC) is the first pan-European funding body designed to support investigator-driven frontier research and stimulate scientific excellence across Europe. Under the EU research programme ‘Horizon 2020’, the ERC has a total budget of over €13 billion for the period 2014-2020 available for individual researchers.
The ERC aims to support the best and most creative scientists to identify and explore new opportunities and directions in any field of research (Physical Sciences and Engineering, Life Sciences and Social Sciences and Humanities), without thematic priorities. In particular, it encourages proposals which cross disciplinary boundaries; address new and emerging fields; and introduce unconventional and innovative approaches. The ERC awards long-term grants to individual researchers of any nationality and age from anywhere in the world who wish to carry out their research projects in a host organisation based in Europe. Excellence is the sole evaluation criterion.“
Office for National Statistics
Overview of the UK Population – “This report gives an overview of the UK population. It examines the size and characteristics of the UK population: showing how the UK population has changed, how it is projected to change, what has caused it to change and how its characteristics are changing. It also compares the growth of the UK population with other European countries.
This is a quarterly report and contains the most recently published statistics. While the report is primarily concerned with the UK picture, it does contain a brief exploration of sub-national variation in population statistics.”
HIV in the United Kingdom – “This contains a variety of different types of HIV report based on PHE data; from comprehensive overviews of annual data (the HIV in the UK annual reports) to specialised reports on particular aspects of HIV care in the UK.
The HIV new diagnoses, treatment and care in the UK: 2015 report is based on the PHE HIV data tables released concurrently in October 2015. Another report, released on the 18 November 2015, focuses on HIV testing, incidence and prevention to coincide with National HIV Testing week. Further specialised reports are planned for for 2016.”
Analysis of factors affecting earnings using Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings – 2015 – “A comparison of median rates of pay for the main groups of employees is reported in Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings – 2015 Provisional Results. These data provide comparisons for groups of employees but do not take into account the different composition and characteristics of these groups. This article presents the results of a statistical modelling approach which explores these compositional effects.
Section A provides an analysis of a range of factors affecting earnings that can be obtained from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). It does not include characteristics such as education which are not available in the ASHE dataset. The factors are used in a statistical regression model to explain hourly earnings, and are grouped by: Individual characteristics such as age and gender; and Job-related characteristics such as sector, occupation, region of employment, job tenure, job status and the size of organisation.
The main results from the regression model are presented in Section B and are used to discuss the differences between public and private sector earnings, differences in earnings between men and women and by length of job tenure.”
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