If you are looking for previous Statements of Intent, see the relevant Cabinet member page
|Statement of Intent|
A statement of intent is an item produced by the government to set out its plans and policies. Any Minister may submit a statement of intent proposing action by their department and this will be released on behalf of the government. There are no rules regarding the formatting of statements of intent. Although departments are required to submit one statement of intent each term, not all departments do this. It is worth noting that statements of intent are different to statements.
The government is able to exercise some quite significant powers without requiring parliamentary consent such as starting wars, recognising new countries, or changing the National Curriculum. The government will include its approach to the different areas of policy through its statements of intent. However, some statements of intent will require legislation afterwards if some of their content will make a significant change to the law. Where there is ambiguity of which sections require subsequent legislation, the Speaker will give their verdict. Statements of intent however can be released before such legislation is created though. Often, statements of intent contain a mixture of so-called executive powers (which the government can wield themselves) and powers that require a bill to be written.
Standard statements of intent are generally expected to cover one specific area of the department's remit. However, a type of statement of intent called a departmental review also exists. These cover every area of the department. The Treasury's departmental review is the Budget Report. However, this cannot be sent to vote.
Previously, statements of intent had been created but they were just known as 'reports'. In August 2014, RayApparently successfully passed an amendment to formally introduce statements of intent into the MHoC. The first official petition created was the Statement of Intent from the Department of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change in November 2015. Since then, there have been over 20 statements of intent.
Every statement of intent that has been presented in the House has been recorded in the Statement of Intent Hansard, which is updated by the Speaker. This archive details which minister proposed a statement of intent, when they proposed it, what the result of the statement of intent was, and gives links to the various readings of the statement of intent. When statements are put to the House, they are given an item reference. This will be 'S' followed by a number. Confusingly however, statements are also included in the Statement of Intent Hansard and are given the same item reference.
Statement of intent procedure
To submit a statement of intent, the government (usually the Prime Minister) will either tag or send a private message to the Speaker. The Speaker should then acknowledge the statement of intent, create a thread for it in the main forum and include the new statement of intent in their MHoC update. The statement of intent will stay in the House for a maximum of six days when it will then be withdrawn. After the statement of intent is withdrawn, it will be placed in cessation for 7 days and will automatically pass unless either the Minister responsible for the statement of intent, the Prime Minister, or the Leader of the Opposition sends it to vote, or the government releases a second reading. Each statement of intent may be undergo 3 readings, with the second reading lasting no longer than 4 days and the third reading lasting no longer than 3 days. Statements of intent may also be amended when they go to vote. If a statement of intent is sent to vote, all MPs will be able to vote either in favour, against, or abstain. After five days, voting will close and if the statement of intent in question receives more votes in favour than it does against, it will pass. It is worth noting that the government has the power to withdraw a statement of intent at any stage.