Skip to main content

Land Registry

Volume 612: debated on Tuesday 28 June 2016

We recently consulted on options for the Land Registry. The consultation closed on 26 May and we are currently reviewing the responses. Until this is completed, no decision will be made.

Having a Land Registry office in Hull, I note that in the consultation of July 2014, when the coalition scrapped plans to sell off the Land Registry, only 5% of people consulted said that it would be more efficient and effective to do so, and the Government admitted that the case for change had not been made. So what has changed since then?

As I said, no decision has been made. It is clear, however, that the Land Registry has been moving increasingly from the use of paper to electronic means, and these modernisation and efficiency changes need to carry on. Regardless of ownership, this is just the kind of change we want to see.

One of the strengths of the Land Registry is its transparency and independence, but those proposing to buy it have links to offshore tax havens—places that do everything to avoid such transparency and independence. The sale to firms with links to tax havens will undermine the trust of homeowners and mortgage lenders. Is not the truth that this sale of family silver makes a complete mockery of Government claims to be tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion?

It would be entirely wrong to comment on any press speculation, but, as I said, no decision has been made.