Briefings 2010

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

Local Government Finance Allocations 2011-12 (Provisional) briefing

This paper details the provisional local government finance allocations for 2011-12.

Unemployment - November 2010 briefing

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

Avalanches in Scotland briefing

This short briefing provides some basic information about avalanches in Scotland.

SB 10-90 Scotland's Transport Networks: Winter Weather briefing

7 December 2010
Scotland’s road, rail and air services have recently experienced severe disruption due to heavy snowfall and low temperatures. This briefing looks at which organisations are responsible for the maintenance of these services.

SB 10-89 Draft Budget 2011-12: Health and Sport briefing

2 December 2010
This briefing is one in a series of SPICe briefings analysing the Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland’s Spending Plans and Draft Budget 2011-12

The Size of the Public Sector briefing

On most measures the public sector comprises a larger share of the economy in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The size of the public sector can be measured in different ways. This briefing provides Scottish data and comparisons with the UK.

Cancún: UN Climate Negotiations briefing

Between 29 November and 10 December 2010 global leaders will meet in Cancún, Mexico for the latest UN Climate Change Conference. This briefing outlines the expectations are for the meeting in Cancún.

Public Records (Scotland) Bill briefing

This briefing gives an overview of the various reviews which led to the Bill and to the responses to the consultation on proposed legislation, and how the Bill has addressed those responses.

Green Belt Policy in Scotland briefing

This briefing provides background information on Scotland’s Green Belts and outlines current Scottish Government Green Belt policy. It looks at how this national policy is interpreted at a local level, using the Edinburgh Green Belt as a case study.

Reservoirs (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Reservoirs (Scotland) Bill seeks to create a legal and administrative framework for the construction and management of controlled reservoirs

Certification of Death (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Certification of Death (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 7 October 2010 by the Minister for Public Health and Sports, Shona Robison MSP. This Briefing considers the provisions of the Bill as well as some of its history.

Unemployment - October 2010 briefing

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

SB 10-81 Draft Budget 2011-12: Local Government and Communities briefing

24 November 2010
The Scottish Government published ‘Scotland’s Spending Plans and Draft Budget 2011-12’ on 17 November. This paper provides an overview of the local government, housing and regeneration budgets proposed for 2011-12

Draft Budget 2011-12 briefing

This briefing summarises the broad trends in the Scottish Government Draft Budget 2011-12.

SB 10-79 Forced Marriage etc. (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Bill briefing

22 November 2011
The briefing provides background on the issue of forced marriage, existing legal protection for victims of forced marriage and a discussion of the main provisions in the Bill itself.

Draft Budget 2011-12: Justice briefing

The briefing has been prepared to assist the Justice Committee in its consideration of the Scottish Government's draft budget for 2011-12.

Children's Hearings (Scotland) Bill as Amended at Stage 2 briefing

This briefing summarises the parliamentary passage of the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Bill at stages 1 and 2.

Economic Indicators - November 2010 briefing

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

Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

This briefing summarises parliamentary scrutiny of the Alcohol etc (Scotland) Bill prior to the stage 3 proceedings.

Impact of International Expenditure briefing

The aim of this briefing is to provide an analysis of the impact of the international spend activities of the Scottish Government and other public sector organisations.

Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill briefing

The current common law rule against double jeopardy generally prevents someone from being tried twice for the same crime. The Bill seeks to reform that rule and restate it in statute.

Autism (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Autism (Scotland) Bill would place a statutory duty on the Scottish Government to prepare and publish an ‘autism strategy’ to meet the needs of young people and adults with autistic spectrum conditions

Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Bill seeks to amend the private landlord registration scheme and the Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing scheme, and would also introduce a new statutory overcrowding notice.

Housing (Scotland) Bill: as Amended at Stage 2 briefing

This briefing is intended to provide a summary of the main issues raised during Stage 2 consideration of the Housing (Scotland) Bill, and the amendments agreed.

Palliative Care (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Palliative Care (Scotland) Bill seeks to place Scottish Ministers under a statutory duty to provide palliative care for those with life-limiting conditions and their family members and to set up reporting arrangements.

Higher Education Institutions: Finance briefing

Describes the various sources of income and expenditure for Higher Education Institutions and provides analysis of the latest data on income, expenditure and operating balances of Scottish and UK HEIs, and for individual Scottish institutions (2008-09).

UK Comprehensive Spending Review: Impact on Scottish Budget briefing

The UK Comprehensive Spending Review was announced on 20 October 2010 and presented UK budgets for the period 2011-2015. This briefing presents the Scottish figures for this period.

Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill establishes an Electoral Management Board for Scotland, and extends the Electoral Commission’s remit to include Scottish local government elections.

Unemployment - September 2010 briefing

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

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services briefing

This briefing provides some background to the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity taking place this year, and then highlights three aspects of biodiversity.

Sea Fishing: Quotas for 2011 briefing

This briefing highlights some of the important issues in the autumn 2010 fisheries negotiations at which decisions on fishing quotas and limits on fishing time will be made for 2011.

SB 10-62 Cycling in Scotland: Update 2010 briefing

28 September 2010
This briefing provides information on cycling as a form of transport in Scotland, a summary of national policy developments, lists cycling organisations and outlines the funding regime for cycle-related capital projects.

Higher Education: Qualifications, Quality Assurance and Assessment briefing

This briefing provides an overview of the range of higher education qualifications on offer in Scotland, including a description of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

Spending implications of demographic change briefing

The aim of this report is to address how is the Scottish population expected to change in next decades and what can be done now to ensure that public spending is effectively managed in years to come.

Unemployment – August 2010 briefing

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

Legal Services (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

This briefing considers some key recommendations made by the Justice Committee in its Stage 1 Report, the Scottish Government’s response to those recommendations and other issues raised during Stage 1 proceedings

Preventative Spend - Literature Review briefing

To inform its inquiry into preventative spending, the Finance Committee asked the FSU to “produce a briefing outlining briefly the theoretical debate on preventative spending and setting out key examples

Parliamentary Pay and Expenses 2010 briefing

This briefing provides an outline of the system of parliamentary pay and expenses in the Scottish Parliament. It gives data on expenditure against Members' expenses for 2009-10 and parliamentary pay for 2010-11.

Wildlife Crime briefing

This briefing considers the definition of a “wildlife crime”, reviews the main legislation creating offences which are considered wildlife crimes, and provides some statistics on the incidence of wildlife crime

Criminal Sentencing (Equity Fines) (Scotland) Bill briefing

This Members' Bill seeks to add to the range of sentences which a court can impose where a public limited company is convicted of a criminal offence.

Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill is a Members’ Bill introduced by Rhoda Grant MSP on 27 May 2010. This briefing provides some background information on domestic abuse in Scotland.

Patient Rights (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Patient Rights (Scotland) Bill seeks to create new statutory rights for those using the NHS, and to establish a set of principles which should underpin the delivery of health care.

End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill briefing

The End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill (the Bill) was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 20 January 2010, by Margo MacDonald MSP.

Administration of school education: international comparison briefing

This briefing provides a summary of research on school autonomy and describes school structures in England, US, Finland, Netherland, New Zealand and Sweden. It also briefly considers the debate about the effect on attainment.

SB 10-49 Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill briefing

1 September 2010
The Historic Environment (Amendment (Scotland) Bill is a technical amending Bill introduced by the Scottish Government on 4 May 2010.

Damages (Scotland) Bill briefing

This Members’ Bill seeks to implement the recommendations of the Scottish Law Commission’s report on Damages for Wrongful Death (2008)

Protection of Workers (Scotland) Bill briefing

This Members' Bill seeks to create a specific statutory offence relating to assaults on people whose work brings them into face-to-face contact with members of the public

Mapping the Economy - August 2010 briefing

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

Unemployment - July 2010 briefing

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

Economic Indicators - July 2010 briefing

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

Unemployment - June 2010 briefing

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

Property Factors (Scotland) Bill briefing

This briefing is intended to provide some background and context to the Bill. It describes the property services market, including the land maintenance market, in Scotland and considers existing legislative provisions and remedies for resolving disputes

Tracking the Scottish Budget briefing

The aim of this paper is to help explain how the Scottish Budget is currently presented, and to highlight areas where the presentation of budgetary information is continuing to develop.

Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

This briefing is intended to provide a summary of the main amendments to the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill proposed and agreed during Stage 2, it does not set out to describe every change that has been made to the Bill.

Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill briefing

This briefing contains background information and a description of the main provisions in the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill on: game law; snares; non-native species; species licensing; deer; badgers; muirburn

Unemployment - May 2010 briefing

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

International Expenditure briefing

At its meeting on 23 February 2010 the European and External Relations Committee agreed its outline remit for the international engagement inquiry.

Mapping the Economy - June 2010 briefing

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

Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

Stage 3 proceedings on the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill are expected to take place towards the end of this month. This briefing considers some key recommendations made by the Justice Committee in its Stage 1 Report

Scottish Housing Market - Update briefing

This briefing provides information on house prices, the housing market, initiatives to support first-time buyers and homeowners, mortgage arrears and repossessions and the house building industry.

Invasive Non-Native Species briefing

This briefing provides an introduction to invasive non-native species (INNS). It explains what INNS are, includes three short INNS case studies and explores the issues surrounding INNS which are of particular relevance to Scotland.

Budget changes 2010-11 briefing

On 24 May 2010, the Chancellor and Chief Secretary to the Treasury set out details of how the UK Government would reduce UK spending by £6bn during the current financial year (2010-11). This briefing presents the Scottish share of the reduction.

Non-Domestic Rates: Livestock Auction Marts briefing

This briefing for the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee provides information about livestock auction marts and the 2010 non-domestic rates revaluation.

Unemployment - April 2010 briefing

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

Hill Farming briefing

This briefing has been prepared for Members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee. The briefing paper describes hill farming in Scotland and looks at evidence of a recent decline in sheep and cattle numbers on hills farms.

Economic Indicators - April 2010 briefing

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

Flooding: Frequently Asked Questions briefing

This briefing gives a short overview of some of the key responsibilities related to flooding in light of changes brought in by the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act which was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 13 May 2009.

Unemployment - March 2010 briefing

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

Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

This briefing summarises the main Stage 1 recommendations of the Local Government and Communities Committee and the response of the member in charge of the Bill, Christine Grahame MSP, in response to these recommendations.

Children's Hearings (Scotland) Bill briefing

This briefing provides an overview of the Bill's provisions, policy development since 2004 and key themes in submissions to the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee.

UK Budget 2010 briefing

This year’s UK budget took place just six weeks ahead of the expected date of the UK General Election and in the context of the 2009 Pre-Budget Report commitment to halving the budget deficit over the next four years.

Unemployment - February 2010 briefing

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

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

Stage 3 proceedings on the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill are scheduled to take place on 25 March 2010. This briefing considers a number of key Stage 2 amendments.

Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Bill briefing

Over the last 10 years the Scottish Parliament has set up six offices concerned with regulating and maintaining the standards of public service. The Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Bill will establish a new standards body

Housing (Scotland) Bill briefing

This briefing provides background information on the regulation of social landlords, right to buy, private sector housing legislation, unauthorised tenancies and homelessness before outlining the main proposals in the Bill.

Single Outcome Agreements 2009-10 briefing

This paper provides an overview of the 2nd round of Single Outcome Agreements. The Single Outcome Agreements for 2009-10 were signed off by the Scottish Government and Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) in June 2009.

Widening Access to Higher Education: Policy in Scotland briefing

The decision to participate in higher education (HE) is generally considered to be one which is determined at an early age and which is influenced by a number of factors, including socio-economic background and prior educational attainment.

Participation in Higher Education: Statistics briefing

This briefing provides an analysis of statistics on students in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). It examines patterns of participation in higher education by factors such as: mode of study; level of study; institution type; age; country of domicile

Barriers to Widening Access to Higher Education briefing

This paper provides an overview of the literature on widening access to higher education, and outlines the various barriers faced by students wishing to participate in higher education courses.

SB 10-17 Forth Replacement Crossing First Principles briefing

19 February 2010
The Forth Replacement Crossing project is expected to be the biggest single investment by the Scottish Government since devolution.

Mapping the Recession - February 2010 briefing

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

Unemployment - January 2010 briefing

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

SB 10-14 Forth Replacement Crossing Analysis of Costs briefing

18 February 2010
The Forth Replacement Crossing project is expected to be the biggest single investment by the Scottish Government since devolution, with an outturn cost in 2016 estimated to be in the range £1.72 billion to £2.34 billion.

Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Bill is part of the Scottish Government’s attempt to help address alcohol-related harm in Scotland by implementing a minimum price per unit of alcohol

Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2010 briefing

The ‘Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2010’ details the revenue allocations and distributable amount of non-domestic rate income to Scottish local authorities for 2010-11.

Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3 briefing

Stage 3 proceedings in relation to the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill are due to take place on 11 February 2010. This briefing summarises the Local Government and Communities Committee’s stage 1 report

Curriculum for Excellence briefing

The Curriculum for Excellence is due to be implemented from August 2010 with new qualifications starting in 2012/13 and 2013/14. This paper provides an overview of the new curriculum.

Economic Indicators - January 2010 briefing

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

SB 10-05 Forth Crossing Bill briefing

25 January 2010
The Forth Crossing Bill seeks to grant Scottish Ministers the necessary powers to construct a new cable stayed road bridge over the Firth of Forth, adjacent to the existing Forth Road Bridge.

Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill: Parliamentary Consideration Prior to Stage 3 briefing

This briefing summarises Parliamentary scrutiny of the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill prior to stage 3, the proceedings for which will take place on 27 January 2010.

Unemployment - December 2009 briefing

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

Pleural Plaques Legislation – Judicial Review Update briefing

The Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009 came into force on 17 June 2009. Since being passed by Parliament, the legality of the 2009 Act has been challenged by way of judicial review.

Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on the 9 December 2009. This briefing has been prepared for Members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee, which is the lead Committee on the Bill.