Newly published official publications from:
Westminster and the UK Government
Brexit: a reading list of post-EU Referendum publications by Parliament and the Devolved Assemblies: “This reading list brings together briefings on Brexit by the Parliamentary libraries and the Devolved Assembly research services with reports by Parliamentary and Devolved Assembly committees following the result of the EU Referendum on 23 June 2016.”
Scotland: Public spending and revenue: “Public spending and taxation in Scotland was a hotly debated issue in the run up to the Scottish independence referendum, and has remained so since. A range of statistics exist on the subject: this note summarises what these say and how they are measured.”
Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster: “This House of Commons Library briefing paper outlines the background to the need for a major refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster and describes the work that has been undertaken by the Restoration and Renewal (R&R) Programme to determine the extent of the work necessary and proposals to oversee and facilitate that work.”
The Scottish Parliament and Government
Poverty in Perspective: A typology of poverty in Scotland: “The report sets out 13 different ‘types’ of poverty in Scotland, spread across three pre-determined life stages: families with children, working age households without children, and pensioner households.
Life on low income is not the same for all households. This analysis grouped together low income households (households with less than 70% of the median income) based on similarities in their lived experiences of poverty. It used data from the Scottish Household Survey and a statistical technique called latent class analysis. It identified 13 ‘types’ of poverty, spread across three pre-determined life stages. The report discusses the different combination of services and interventions that each poverty type needs.”
New Scots: Integrating Refugees in Scotland’s Communities 2014 – 2017 Final Report: “The New Scots refugee integration strategy was developed through partnership as a three year strategy, by the Scottish Government, COSLA and the Scottish Refugee Council.
New Scots’ vision is for a Scotland where refugees are able to build a new life from the day they arrive and to realise their full potential with the support of mainstream services; and where they become active members of our communities with strong social relationships.
New Scots established a framework to coordinate the efforts of all organisations involved in supporting refugees in Scotland. The strategy has been implemented by a range of partners working across six key thematic areas. This report highlights progress which has been made to improve support for refugees in Scotland. It includes case studies and examples of specific projects and work which has taken place. It also explores the impact of the humanitarian crisis and Scotland’s response.“
Review of the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland – A report by Dr Duncan Morrow: “Dr Duncan Morrow’s report on the progress towards the Implementation of the Final Recommendations of the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland.”
The European Union
Towards new rules on sales and digital content: Analysis of the key issues: “In 2015, the Commission presented two proposals for directives: on the online sale of goods to consumers, and on the supply of digital content to consumers.
The two proposals need to be analysed in the context of the existing Consumer Sales Directive from 1999, which is currently under revision as part of the REFIT exercise. If the two proposals enter into force, consumer sales transactions will be regulated by three instruments: with regard to tangible goods sold face to face – by the Consumer Sales Directive, with regard to tangible goods sold at a distance – the Online Sales Directive, and with regard to the sale of digital content – the Digital Content Directive. Not surprisingly, the three texts have much in common as regards their structure and subject matter. They all deal with such issues as conformity (lack of defects), the consumer’s remedies in cases of defects, the time limit for bringing such remedies and the burden of proof. They also have two other systemic issues in common: the choice between minimum and maximum harmonisation, on the one hand, and between mandatory and default rules, on the other.
The existing Consumer Rights Directive is a minimum harmonisation instrument, and allows Member States to grant consumers a higher level of protection, especially when it comes to the period of seller’s liability or the freedom of choice of remedies to be pursued in the event of defects. Similarly, the absence of any EU legislation specifically addressing contracts regarding the sale or rental of digital content or the provision of digital services means that Member States have been free to protect consumers to the extent they see fit. Since the two proposals are framed as maximum harmonisation instruments, the question of the exact extent of consumer rights and the way they should be exercised is crucial.”
Human Rights in Iran after the Nuclear Deal Business as Usual or Time for Change?: “This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR). The purpose of the workshop was to analyse the most recent developments regarding human rights in Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 and to explore the options available to the EU in seeking to help improve the situation. Experts and human rights defenders pointed to the gaps between law and practice in Iran and raised continuing concerns about the death penalty, political prisoners, prison conditions, arrests of dual nationals, minority rights and restrictions to internet access. They identified Iran’s dual power structure of elected and non-elected institutions and corruption as some of the chief constraints to any reform efforts. They said the EU should keep human rights — including support for the relevant UN mechanisms and efforts — high on its agenda. They said the key factors for engaging successfully with Iran on human rights in future were clear criteria and benchmarks, detailed knowledge of the human rights issues at stake and interaction with Iranian civil society both inside and outside Iran.”
Office for National Statistics
UK gross domestic expenditure on research and development: 2015: “Estimates of research and development in business enterprise, higher education, government, which includes research councils and private non-profit organisations.”
Electoral Statistics for UK: 2016: “People registered to vote in parliamentary and local government elections as recorded in the electoral registers published on 1 December (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).”
Scottish Government Workforce Information, 2016: “This publication presents statistics on the Scottish Government’s workforce for each quarter from 2012 up to the most recent quarter at the end of 2016. The statistics show: numbers of directly employed staff by category, numbers of non-directly employed workers by category, staff sickness absence, and staff diversity information.”
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