Newly published official publications from:
Westminster and the UK Government
Forced organ removal in China – “In 2006, two prominent Canadians – David Kilgour, a former MP, and David Matas, a human rights lawyer – published a report for the ‘Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong in China’, in which they gave credibility to claims that the Chinese authorities were harvesting organs from executed members of the group. At around the same time, the Chinese authorities acknowledged that they had been taking organs from executed prisoners but insisted it was only with their consent.
In the years since then, the Chinese authorities have announced steps to bring the practice to an end. The deadline eventually set for doing so was 1 January 2015. However, there continue to be allegations that the practice has not ended…”
Lifetime ISA and pensions – “Looks at the Lifetime ISA to be introduced from April 2017 and its role in encouraging people to save for retirement.
In July 2015, the Government launched a consultation on reforming pension tax relief to strengthen the incentive to save. Subsequent debate focused on three approaches to reform:
- A shift to a single-rate of relief, possibly rebadged as ‘matching contributions’ from the Government.
- Moving to a TEE (taxed-exempt-exempt) system where contributions are made out of taxed incomes (and then topped-up by the Government) while investment returns and any income ultimately received would be tax-free.
- Retaining the current system, with some modifications.”
Potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on UK tourism – “…Since the EU referendum in June 2016, there has been scant official data showing how UK tourism has been affected by the decision to leave the EU. What data has been published is presented below, with a brief discussion of the impact of the fall in value of Sterling since June…”
The Scottish Parliament and Government
Independent Report on Marches, Parades and Static Demonstrations in Scotland – “Dr Michael Rosie was asked by the Scottish Government to provide independent advice on marches, parades and static demonstrations in Scotland, specifically to assess current processes and procedures and highlight any good practice as well as improvements that could be made around the country. Scottish Government Response available here.”
The Economic Implications of Brexit – “The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) were commissioned by the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee to undertake economic modelling work to explore the long-term implications of Brexit for Scotland. This briefing summarises the results of this economic modelling.”
The Creation of a Specific Offence of Domestic Abuse – Proposed Associated Reforms to Criminal Procedure – “The creation of a specific offence of Domestic Abuse and the proposed associated reforms to criminal procedure.
The purpose of this document is to provide details of a number of reforms proposed to criminal procedure that relate to the creation of a specific offence of domestic abuse.”
The European Union
State of the Union 2016 – “Every year in September, the President of the European Commission delivers his State of the Union speech before the European Parliament, taking stock of achievements of the past year and presenting priorities for the year ahead. The President also sets out how the Commission will address the most pressing challenges the European Union is facing. The speech is followed by a plenary debate. This kick-starts the dialogue with Parliament and Council to prepare the Commission Work Programme for the following year. This provides a complete picture of the State of the Union 2016, as seen by President Juncker. It constitutes the European Commission’s contribution to the informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government in Bratislava on 16 September 2016.”
What shapes the law? – “This book puts together several contributions that, from various time, system and disciplinary perspectives, address the same questions – what has shaped subsidy laws? Which actors mould subsidy and State aid law and what forces are at work? The book includes reports from former or current negotiators, officials, practitioners and scholars, that focus on various attempts to regulate subsidies at the national, European and international levels. Prominence is given to the actual practice, and to the account given by the key actors, operating in the field since the 1970s. Various disciplines are interrogated – from history to law, from political science to economics. What comes out is a fascinating account that provides a goldmine of insights and leads for further enquiry in a topical and under-researched area.”
Quiet areas in Europe – “This report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents a first spatial assessment of those areas in Europe that are potentially unaffected by noise pollution brought about by human activity. The basis for the report are data reported to the EEA by its member and cooperating countries. These data relate mainly to noise sources and exposure information as prescribed by European Union (EU) Directive 2002/49/EC (EU, 2002) relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise, more commonly referred to as the Environmental Noise Directive (END). In addition, information reported to the EEA regarding industrial activity, urban areas, land use and areas specially protected for the benefit of nature has been used in this assessment. Collectively, the analysis provides a picture of not only the extent of the noise impact in Europe, but also where noise pollution has not yet made an impact and, therefore, which areas might be considered for protection, especially those quiet areas in open country.”
Office for National Statistics
Sexual identity, UK: 2015 “Main points:-
- In 2015, 1.7% of the UK population identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB).
- More males (2.0%) than females (1.5%) identified themselves as LGB in 2015.
- Of the population aged 16 to 24, there were 3.3% identifying themselves as LGB, the largest percentage within any age group in 2015.
- The population who identified as LGB in 2015 were most likely to be single, never married or civil partnered, at 68.2%.Statistician’s quote
“In 2015, the majority (93.7%) of the UK population identified themselves as heterosexual or straight, with 1.7% identifying as LGB, the remainder either identifying as “other”, “don’t know” or refusing to respond. Young adults (16 to 24 year olds) are more likely to identify as LGB compared with older age groups, and a higher proportion of males identify as LGB than females.”
Pamela Cobb, Population Statistics Division, Office for National Statistics.”
The impact of recent currency fluctuations on foreign direct investment statistics: Apr to June 2016 – “As with most cross-border economic statistics, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) values fluctuate in response to currency movements. This short note outlines the expected impact of the recent depreciation in sterling and outlines how these developments have impacted on UK FDI statistics.“
International comparisons of UK productivity (ICP), first estimates: 2015 – “First estimates for 2015 indicate that output per hour worked in the UK was 18 percentage points below the average for the rest of the G7 advanced economies; this gap is unchanged compared with last year.
In terms of the output per worker gap, UK productivity remained 19 percentage points below the average for the rest of the G7 in 2015.
Compared with the rest of the G7, the UK had average productivity growth in terms of output per hour and below average growth in terms of output per worker in 2015.
Output per hour was lower in all G7 countries in 2015 than would have been the case if pre-downturn trends had continued since 2007. The UK’s productivity gap of nearly 18 percentage points is the largest in the G7 and is double the average of 9 percentage points across the rest of the G7.
This edition forms part of our quarterly productivity bulletin which also includes an overarching commentary, summaries of recently published estimates, and new quarterly estimates of public service productivity.”
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