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15.07.16

PACAC chair opposes privatising ‘essential’ Land Registry

The Land Registry must remain in public ownership, the chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) has said.

Following a consultation on the government’s proposals to privatise the registry, Bernard Jenkin MP said: “The Land Registry must remain an essential arm of the state.”

He said that the government must retain “a golden share” in the Land Registry, even if some measure of privatisation was introduced, warning that a private company may not value long-term stability and continuity for the service.

Jenkin added that although he accepted the government’s argument that the Land Registry needed to become more modernised and digitally based, he did not accept that this was “a clinching argument” for privatising the service.

Instead, he said that it might cost less for the government to keep it in public ownership and fund the changes.

Jenkin said that there was “a real and unavoidable tension” between the government’s commitment to greater open data and the privatisation plans.

If privatisation went ahead, he expected the PACAC would be conducting an inquiry into its impact on open data in two years’ time.

The Competition and Markets Authority has also warned that the privatisation proposals could breach rules on competition.

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Comments

Oldgerry   15/07/2016 at 19:18

Good old Bernard has got it right as usual. I'm politically on the right but I believe this is one privatisation that would be totally wrong. The Land Registry ranks with the Passport Office, the Security Services and so on which must be administered by the state.

John Harvey   15/07/2016 at 23:20

Who, exactly, is now the minister in charge of LR

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