Jo Stevens

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Land Registry Faces Threat of Privatisation

Yesterday, I handed in a petition to the Government with over 275,000 signatures opposing privatisation of the Land Registry.

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The Lib Dem/Tory Government consulted on similar proposals back in 2014, only to have to abandon its plans in the face of widespread opposition and a very successful campaign against the proposal.

Only 5% of respondents to the Coalition Government's consultation thought that privatisation would boost efficiency and effectiveness and despite deciding against privatisation only two years ago, the current Government is again planning to sell off the Land Registry. 

I was part of the successful campaign to stop privatisation of the Land Registry first time round and I'm campaigning to do the same again.

A 38 Degrees petition calling for the Government to drop its plans for selling off the Land Registry attracted over 275,000 signatures. There is huge strength of opposition to the Government's proposals.

The Land Registry returns over a million pounds in profits annually to taxpayers and regularly receives customer satisfaction rates of well over 90%.

The privatisation of the Land Registry is unnecessary, un-evidenced and unwanted. I am also very concerned that this short-term privatisation will have long-term consequences.

Privatisation could undermine confidence in Land Registry data, jeopardise the service to homebuyers, and erode conditions for staff who work there. The Government is seeking to privatise the profits of the Land Registry, whilst retaining the risk.

I hope that the Government will listen to the concerns that have been raised and stop the selling off of profitable state assets for short-term gain.

You can be assured that I will fight this all the way, together with my Labour colleagues.

  • Last year it gave £119.1m back to the Treasury
  • The Land Registry underpins the guarantee of title of £3 trillion of property
  • It shares experience in developing a world class land registration system with other countries
  • Polling shows nearly 70% of the public want it to stay public
  • Transparency is crucial to identifying and dealing with corruption and tax avoidance, as well as identifying and investigating offshore ownership arrangements
  • HM Land Registry, in dealing with transactions, disputes and changes/updates to the register, must retain impartiality and remain free from any suggestion of conflict of interest –this is impossible if it is privatised.

You can still sign the petition here.

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