Briefings 2009

Briefings are listed in the order they were published, with the most recent appearing first.

Unemployment - November 2009 briefing

This briefing provides the latest unemployment data for Scottish Parliament constituency areas.

Scottish Government's Economic Recovery Plan briefing

In response to the onset of recession, the Scottish Government announced an Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) in October 2008. It reports that the ERP is supporting 15,000 jobs.

Pre-Budget Report 2009 briefing

This briefing notes the effect of the UK Pre-Budget Report on the Scottish Government’s Budget.

Local Government Finance Allocations 2010-11 (Provisional) briefing

This paper details the provisional local government finance allocations for 2010-11. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP, announced the allocations to the Scottish Parliament on 26 November 2009.

Summary Criminal Justice Reform briefing

The past few years have seen the introduction of significant reforms aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Scotland’s summary criminal justice system.

Parliamentary Pay and Expenses briefing

This briefing provides an outline of the system of parliamentary pay and expenses in the Scottish Parliament. It gives data on expenditure against allowances for 2008-09 and parliamentary pay for 2009-10.

Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 22 June 2009 by Christine Grahame MSP. The Bill seeks to modernise the law on control of dogs. This briefing considers the provisions of the Bill in the context of the consultation.

Unemployment - October 2009 briefing

This briefing provides the latest unemployment data for Scottish Parliament constituency areas.

Economic Indicators - November 2009 briefing

This briefing provides a selection of indicators on aspects of the Scottish economy.

Arbitration (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

Stage 3 proceedings for the Arbitration (Scotland) Bill are scheduled to take place on 18 November 2009. This briefing summarises the main recommendations made by the Economy, Enterprise and Tourism Committee in its stage 1 Report.

Legal Services (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Legal Services (Scotland) Bill is intended to enable the establishment of new business structures within the legal services industry in Scotland.

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy briefing

This briefing has been prepared for members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee. The paper describes the main aspects of the Common Fisheries Policy, and considers the European Commission’s Green Paper on the future of the policy.

SB 09-76 Scotch Whisky Industry briefing

28 October 2009
Restructuring announcements by large companies within the Scotch Whisky industry over the summer of 2009 have brought the industry under the public and political spotlight.

Judicial Review briefing

This briefing provides and introduction to judicial review. Judicial review is a type of court action which allows parties to challenge the exercise of power by UK and Scottish Ministers, UK and Scottish government departments and agencies.

Sea Fishing: Quotas for 2010 briefing

This briefing has been prepared for members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee. It highlights some of the important issues in the autumn 2009 fisheries negotiations at which decisions on fishing quotas and limits on fishing time will be made.

Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Parliament on 1 October 2009 by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. The Bill contains measures to protect people struggling to deal with debt.

School Buildings: Frequently Asked Questions briefing

This briefing gives a short overview of key facts relating to school buildings, based on enquiries frequently received in SPICe.

Compulsory Purchase and the Planning System briefing

This short briefing outlines the compulsory purchase powers available to local authorities under planning legislation, considers human rights issues associated with the exercise of such powers.

Draft Budget 2010-11: Justice briefing

This paper has been prepared to assist the Justice Committee in looking at the Scottish Government’s draft budget for 2010/11.

Supreme Court briefing

This briefing considers the new UK Supreme Court and its functions from a Scottish perspective. The briefing also considers the membership, jurisdiction and procedure of the new Supreme Court.

Draft Budget 2010-11: Local Government and Communities briefing

The Scottish Government published the Draft Budget for 2010-11(Scottish Government 2009a) on Thursday 17 September. This paper provides an overview of the local government, housing and regeneration budgets proposed for 2010-11.

SB 09-67 Draft Budget 2010-11: Health and Sport briefing

25 September 2009
This briefing is one in a series of SPICe briefings analysing the Scottish Government’s ‘Draft Budget 2010-11’.

Draft Budget 2010-11 briefing

This briefing summarises the broad trends in the Scottish Government Draft Budget 2010-11.

Unemployment - August 2009 briefing

This briefing provides the latest unemployment data for Scottish Parliament constituency areas.

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill: Rural and Environment bodies briefing

The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on the 28 May 2009. This briefing has been prepared for Members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee.

Financial Services Sector in Scotland briefing

This briefing provides background material for the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee inquiry into the way forward for the banking, building society and financial services sector in Scotland.

Impact of Tribunal Reform in Scotland briefing

This briefing looks at how changes to the system for supporting tribunals in England and Wales (and tribunals in Scotland dealing with reserved matters) are impacting on the justice system in Scotland.

SB 09-61 Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill: Creative Scotland briefing

8 September 2009
The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 28 May 2009 by John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth.

Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 15 June 2009 following a consultation. The Bill is a highly technical one which seeks to replace three transitional orders made under the Scotland Act 1998.

Comparison of the UK and the Scottish Marine Bills briefing

This briefing summarises the provisions of the UK Marine and Coastal Access Bill which was introduced to the House of Lords on 4 December 2008. It considers the main implications the Bill has for Scotland.

Scottish Housing Market – Update briefing

This briefing provides information on how the current economic climate is impacting on the housing market in Scotland. It includes information on house prices, the housing market, affordability, initiatives to support first-time buyers and homeowners.

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill: Healthcare Improvement Scotland briefing

This briefing concerns Part five of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill on the creation of Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Mapping the Recession - September 2009 briefing

This briefing maps the latest data for a selection of indicators from which trends within the Scottish economy can be identified.

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill: Finance Committee Scrutiny briefing

The Scottish Government introduced the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill in the Parliament on 28 May 2009.

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill: Social Services briefing

The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 28 May 2009 by John Swinney.It seeks to simplify the procedures for altering certain public bodies, creates some new ones and dissolves others.

Swedish Presidency of the European Union briefing

This briefing outlines the priorities that the Swedish Government have identified for their Presidency of the European Union which takes places from 1 July until 31 December 2009.

Scottish Civil Court System briefing

This briefing provides an overview of the civil court system in Scotland.For an overview of the system of criminal courts in Scotland see the related SPICe Subject Map entitled The Scottish Criminal Justice System: the Criminal Courts (McCallum et al)

Frequently Asked Questions: Care for Older People briefing

This briefing is intended to assist MSPs and their staff in dealing with issues around care for older people that frequently arise in the context of their constituency caseload.

Economic Indicators - August 2009 briefing

This briefing provides a selection of indicators on aspects of the Scottish economy.

Unemployment - July 2009 briefing

This briefing provides the latest unemployment data for Scottish Parliament constituency areas.

SB 09-48 Cycling in Scotland briefing

31 July 2009
This short briefing provides background information on cycling as a form of transport in Scotland. It provides a brief summary of national policy developments and cycling statistics, lists key cycling organisations.

Frequently Asked Questions: Family Law briefing

This briefing is intended to assist MSPs in dealing with family law issues that frequently arise in the context of their constituency caseload. It provides a general introduction to the law.

Debt briefing

This briefing is intended to provide an introduction to the topic of personal debt.

Unemployment - May 2009 briefing

This briefing provides the latest unemployment data for Scottish Parliament constituency areas.

Convention Rights Proceedings (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Convention Rights Proceedings (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill provides that certain legal proceedings brought under the Scotland Act 1998 must be commenced before the end of a prescribed one year limitation period

Climate Change (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

This briefing summarises the parliamentary scrutiny of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill prior to Stage 3 proceedings. The briefing discusses the amendments made to the Bill at Stage 2 and contains various annexes.

Housing - Subject Profile briefing

This subject profile provides a general introduction to housing in Scotland. It describes the legislative and administrative framework relating to housing and summarises recent policy developments.

Marine (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Marine (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 30 April 2009. The Bill seeks to create a new legislative and management framework for the marine environment.

European Dimensions of the Marine Environment briefing

This briefing highlights the European policy dimension of the marine and maritime environment in order to provide background to the forthcoming Scottish Marine Bill.

Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

Stage 3 proceedings on the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill are scheduled to take place on 10 June 2009.

Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill : Disclosure of Evidence briefing

The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill includes provisions to establish a statutory framework for the disclosure of evidence in criminal cases. The framework provides for disclosure by the prosecution to the accused.

Mapping the Recession - May 2009 briefing

This briefing maps the latest data for a selection of indicators from which we are able to identify trends within the Scottish economy.

Unemployment - April 2009 briefing

This briefing provides the latest unemployment data for Scottish Parliament constituency areas.

Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill : Scottish Sentencing Council briefing

The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill includes provisions to create a Scottish Sentencing Council to provide a new sentencing regime for Scotland.

Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill (the Bill) was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 25 February 2009.

Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 3 briefing

This briefing summarises the legislative and non-legislative recommendations made by the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee in its Stage 1 report and the response to it.

Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill: Community Penalties in Scotland briefing

The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill includes provisions to introduce a new Community Payback Order which would replace a number of community penalties which are currently available in Scotland.

Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill : Short Custodial Sentences briefing

The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill includes provisions which seek to discourage the use of short custodial sentences in cases where other appropriate sentencing options are available.

Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill : Fingerprint and DNA Data briefing

The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill includes provision to extend police powers in relation to the retention of certain types of forensic information – including fingerprint and DNA data.

Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 2 March 2009.

Climate Change: The Threat to Species briefing

This briefing considers the threat that climate change poses to Scotland’s species. Some species are able to migrate to new places as their original habitat becomes inhospitable but for others migration is not an option.

Impact of Recession on Scotland's Public Finances briefing

On 22 April 2009, the same day as the Chancellor presented the 2009 UK Budget to Parliament, official statistics confirmed that Scotland had officially entered recession.

UK Budget 2009 briefing

This year’s UK budget took place against a backdrop of a global economic and financial crisis. On the day of the UK Budget (22 April 2009) official statistics confirmed that Scotland had officially entered recession.

Personal Debt, Bankruptcy and Homes briefing

Since 2007 Scotland, in common with much of the rest of the world, has been in the grip of a ‘credit crunch’, ie a sudden, severe and prolonged reduction in the availability of loans affecting all areas of the economy.

Economic Indicators - April 2009 briefing

This briefing provides the latest data for a selection of indicators from which we are able to identify trends within the Scottish economy.

Unemployment - March 2009 briefing

This briefing provides the latest unemployment data for Scottish Parliament constituency areas.

Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Bill : Stage 3 briefing

This briefing summarises parliamentary scrutiny of the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Bill up to Stage 3.

Scottish Local Government (Elections) Bill briefing

The Scottish Government introduced the Scottish Local Government (Elections) Bill in the Parliament on 3 February 2009.

Microgeneration briefing

Microgeneration has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut energy bills for households and businesses. However, to date, there has been very limited uptake of microgeneration.

Comparative Political Decentralisation in Europe briefing

(This briefing was updated on 8 July 2009) This paper provides a comparative analysis of the degree of political decentralisation in five European countries.

Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

Stage 3 proceedings for the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) Scotland Bill are scheduled to take place on 11 March 2009.

Health Boards (Membership and Elections) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

This briefing summarises parliamentary scrutiny of the Health Boards (Membership and Elections) (Scotland) Bill prior to stage 3 proceedings, due on 12 March 2009.

Local Government Capital Allocations 2009-10 briefing

This paper provides an overview of the capital allocations to Scottish local authorities for 2009-10. The Scottish Parliament approved revenue allocations to local authorities on 11 February 2009.

National Planning Framework for Scotland 2 briefing

This briefing summarises the key points of the discussion draft of NPF2 published by the Scottish Government on 9 January 2008.

Arbitration briefing

The Arbitration (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 29 January 2009. The Bill is intended to put the majority of the general Scots law of arbitration into a single statute.

Economic Indicators - February 2009 briefing

This briefing provides a selection of indicators on aspects of the Scottish economy. The indicators include:economic growth (Gross Value Added); the labour market; the housing market; UK inflation, interest and exchange rates; and retail sales.

Czech Presidency of the European Union briefing

This briefing outlines the circumstances surrounding the Presidency and highlights the Czech Presidency priorities, and in particular those of most interest to Scotland.

Size of the Public Sector briefing

Public expenditure, government consumption and the public sector comprise a larger share of the economy in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

Future for Scotland's Universities briefing

This briefing summarises the reports of the Joint Future Thinking Task Force on Universities collectively titled “New Horizons”. The Task Force was chaired jointly by the Government and Universities Scotland and included the Scottish Funding Council and

Climate Change (Scotland) Bill - Forestry Provisions briefing

The Climate Change (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 4 December 2008. It sets targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and introduces a framework for advice and reporting on climate change.

SB 09-08 Unpaid Carers briefing

6 February 2009
This paper provides information on unpaid carers in Scotland, including statistics, legislation, policy, and financial support in both Scotland and the UK as a whole.

Local Government Finance Act 1992 (Scotland) Order 2009 briefing

This paper provides an overview of the revenue allocations to Scottish local authorities for 2009-10 as set out in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (Scotland) Order 2009.

Parliamentary Pay and Expenses 2007-08 and Pay and Expense Rates 2008-09 briefing

This briefing provides an outline of the system of parliamentary pay and allowances in the Scottish Parliament. It gives data on allowances expenditure for 2007-08 and parliamentary pay for 2008-09.

Scottish Housing Market briefing

This briefing note provides information on how the current economic climate is impacting on the housing market in Scotland. It includes information on house prices, house sales transactions and mortgage availability and the impact on the housebuilding

Climate Change (Scotland) Bill : Waste Provisions briefing

The Climate Change (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Parliament on 4 December 2008. The Bill contains provisions that aim to improve waste management and recycling in order to help move Scotland towards a zero waste society. Reducing waste

Climate Change (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Climate Change (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 4 December 2008. It sets targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and introduces a framework for advice and reporting on climate change.

SB 09-02 Concessionary Travel briefing

8 January 2009
The Scottish Government operates two national concessionary travel schemes. This briefing outlines the background to these schemes, how they operate and details of their financing.

Coal Prices briefing

This briefing provides an overview of past and predicted trends in the worldwide consumption of coal, alongside the trend in Scotland

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