Research Papers 2011

Synopsis: Here you will find a list of Social Development Committee research papers published during 2011.

Parity and Social Security in Northern Ireland

- Date: 21/09/2011 - Author: Eleanor Murphy

This paper briefly examines the parity principle within the context of the NI Act 1998; the history of parity exploring how and why it was established and why it is largely maintained; the potential budgetary implications of breaking parity; the scope for “stretching” parity; and the potential interaction between parity and European Law.


Fuel Poverty

- Date: 21/09/2011 - Author: Eleanor Murphy & the NI Assembly Research Team

This paper was commissioned on behalf of the Committee for Social Development to assist the Committee in evaluating what role it should play in a campaign to eradicate fuel poverty. The paper provides a brief profile of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland; it looks at the interventions by statutory committees in other jurisdictions in addressing fuel poverty; and explores some of the innovative area-based initiatives deployed by local councils and the voluntary, community and private sectors. The paper concludes by providing a brief overview of departmental action and cross-departmental co-operation in tackling fuel poverty and examines the issue of energy brokering and the potential role of the government estate.


Carer’s Allowance Bill: Supplementary Briefing for the Committee for Social Development

- Date: 22/03/2011 - Author: Research Team

This research paper was requested by the Committee for Social Development during its scrutiny of the Carer’s Allowance Bill. The paper provides background information on a range of two-tiered benefit models for carers; caring and benefit tapering; an overview of the National Care Service and the Dilnot Commission; the availability of statutory respite care in the UK; and support for young carers.


European Update: Social Development

- Date: 21/03/2011 - Author: Eleanor Murphy

The following briefing paper has been written for the Committee for Social Development to inform its scrutiny of the European Commission’s strategic initiatives and legislation. The paper provides an update of three particular issues in the European Commission’s Work Programme 2010 that the Committee for Social Development sought updates on – i.e. the European Green Paper on Pensions, fuel poverty interventions; and measures to prevent housing foreclosure. This briefing paper also provides a brief roundup of other social development related European news over the past few months and a list of recent Assembly Questions to the Minister for Social Development in relation to European issues. The final section of this paper provides an overview of those issues in the European Commission Work Programme 2011 which may have relevance to the Social Development portfolio.


An Introduction to Welfare Reform

- Date: 20/01/2011 - Author: Eleanor Murphy & Jane Campbell

The purpose of this briefing paper is to provide the Committee with a broad overview of the Coalition Government’s plans for Welfare Reform.


Minimum Alcohol Pricing

- Date: 18/01/2011 - Author: Eleanor Murphy

The purpose of this briefing paper is to assist the Committee for Social Development in its consideration of the issue of minimum alcohol pricing. The paper begins by providing a brief overview of both the extent and impact of alcohol misuse in Northern Ireland; it explores the development of minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland; examines some of the arguments put forward for and against minimum alcohol pricing; and provides a brief outline of some alternatives to minimum pricing such as an increase in alcohol taxation and a ban on below cost sales of alcohol.


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