Latest Public Sector News

03.06.16

Privatising Land Registry risks money laundering abuse, MPs warn

Privatising the Land Registry would make the property market more vulnerable to money laundering, tax evasion and other forms of abuse, MPs have warned in a letter opposing the proposals.

The letter, written by Labour MP David Lammy to business secretary Sajid Javid and signed by 65 MPs, accuses the government of “an extremely worrying gap” between its public commitment to tackling fraud and its actions.

The letter said: “It is clearly not the public interest for the Land Registry to be bought up by organisations with a direct interest in reducing transparency and enabling trusts and shell companies registered in tax havens to purchase properties and land in the UK.”

It also warned that offshore companies can provide a front for money launderers.

MPs added that privatising the Registry would “achieve the opposite” of action to tackle the “grave and related challenges” of tax evasion and the severe shortage of affordable housing.

The Public and Commercial Services Union and the Competition and Markets Authority have also warned the inquiry into the proposals that privatising the Land Registry could create a risk of conflicts of interest.

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