Plans to consult on various options about the future of the Land Registry were announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement on November 25 last year as part of a set of proposals aimed at securing £5 billion of corporate and financial asset sales by 2020.
Back in 2014 the government abandoned plans to privatise the Land Registry and said that it would not be privatised before the General Election in 2015. Concern about the plans was expressed by the PCS union and the Law Society which urged the government to ensure that any plans for privatisation should protect the integrity of the register.
Unfortunately, the government is selling off whatever public assets it can for short-term gain which will have long-term consequences. The sell-off risks undermining confidence in Land Registry data, jeopardising the service to homebuyers, and eroding conditions for staff. The Land Registry made a surplus of £100 million in 2012/13.
The Tory government claims that privatisation would enable the Land Registry to become ‘even more efficient and effective.’ Yet, the announcement was slipped out late on the last day before recess in another desperate attempt to avoid scrutiny.
Labour is determined to do everything possible to oppose this unnecessary, un-evidenced and unwanted privatisation..