Save the Land Registry!

Mark Brown mark at
Sun Dec 27 12:17:26 GMT 2015

Save the Land Registry!
A united campaign against the proposed plans to privatise the Land Registry

So far over 12,500 people have signed the petition!

Osborne revives plans to privatise Land Registry as The Great British Sell-Off

On Wednesday 25th November, chancellor George Osborne delivered the spending

 Comment: Hidden away in the spending review - a plan to sell off Britain's
 He spoke in parliament for an hour and a half. In all that time he barely
mentioned assets. But when you dig down into the spending review documents,
assets are mentioned a lot. And it's all about disposing of them.

Although he didn't draw attention to it, Osborne's plans to run a surplus this
year rely on his decision to sell off our assets. As the Office for Budget
Responsibility puts it: "As in July, asset sales make the difference between
debt rising and falling as a share of GDP in 2015-16."

Land Registry

The spending review announced that the government wants to privatise the Land
Registry from 2017.  Plans to sell-off the Land Registry by the last coalition
government were thwarted in July 2014 after a successful campaign opposing the
change from a wide spectrum of interest groups from lawyers, solicitors to land
registry staff appeared to persuade the former Business Secretary Vince Cable to
do a U turn. 

The Land Registry has a 98% customer satisfaction rate, doesn't cost taxpayers a
penny and has returned money to the Treasury in 19 of the last 20 years. If it
is privatised, this may threaten its neutrality, drive up the cost of buying a
house and the use of its service and force small, local high-street solicitors
out of business. 
 Sign the Petition against privatisation:

Ordnance Survey

The spending review also reveals plans to "develop options to bring private
capital into the Ordnance Survey before 2020". We don’t know yet if that means
an equity sale or new private partnerships. Ordnance Survey makes £32 million
profit a year for the public purse. Its data has saved the government tens of
millions of pounds, and underpins an estimated £100 billion of the UK economy.
Ordnance Survey is a much-loved public institution at the cutting edge of data
technology and it needs to stay that way.


The following is taken from

If you've ever bought a house, it was the Land Registry that documented your
ownership rights. The Land Registry has been recording the ownership of land and
property in England and Wales since 1862. It doesn’t cost taxpayers a penny and
has returned money to the Treasury in 19 of the last 20 years, while continuing
to reduce its fees.

The Land Registry has more than 24 million titles providing proof of ownership.
Easy-to-read documents explaining the paper title deeds are also provided. This
makes life easier and simpler for everyone involved in buying and selling
property. Independent civil servants make sure every entry on the register is
correct. They also produce data on house prices and transactions which is used
by the government to make policy decisions.

The Land Registry has a 98% customer satisfaction rate
Last year it made £8.5 million profit for the public purse
It gave nearly £100 million back to the government in 2013
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
The Land Registry has consistently been spoken about as being at risk
of privatisation. Last year it was close to being privatised but the sale
was vetoed by Vince Cable, after a campaign by a range of groups, including high
street lawyers and solicitors who use the Land Registry the most. 

But while that campaign was successful there is reason to believe it will once
again be considered once the government has sold financial assets like RBS and
Lloyds. George Osborne united the UK Financial Investments (UKFI) and the
Shareholder Executive in a new body called UK Government Investments (UKGI) soon
after the general election in May 2015. UKGI is designed solely to sell public

If the Land Registry is privatised, this may drive up the cost of buying
a house, force small, local high-street solicitors out of business and threaten
the stability of the housing market. 

George Osborne plans to sell off £31 billion of public assets this year in the
largest privatisation ever. His plans don't include the Land Registry at the
moment - let's make sure they never do. Sign the Top Trumps petition to keep the
Land Registry public.

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