Labour has launched a campaign to stop the Tories privatising the Land Registry. The Tory plan, sneaked out in the Budget, would mean hundreds of jobs being put at risk in Plymouth.
The Land Registry is doing a first-class job in public ownership but the government is currently consulting on privatising it. Labour opposes the sell off.
Luke Pollard, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport at the last election said:
Privatising the Land Registry puts jobs in Plymouth at risk.
The last time the Tories tried to sell the Land Registry Plymouth came together and successfully stopped them. We need to do that again.
After recent votes I don't hold out much hope that the city's Tory MPs will do much to help us so we need this to be a grassroots campaign that says selling off a profitable organisation that contributes hugely to our city is short-sighted and wrong.
Alison Seabeck, Labour MP for Plymouth Moor View until the last election said:
Further indication of George Osborne's incompetence. He intends to sell off an asset which is efficient and makes money. Instead of supporting public services with its income it will be lining private pockets.
You can read the coverage in the Plymouth Herald here.
What is the Land Registry?
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.
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 - it will also put the jobs of hundreds of people in Plymouth at risk.
(Source: We Own It).
What can you do about it?
There are three things you can do to help the campaign:
1) Write to your MP and tell them you want them to oppose the sell off of the Land Registry. You can use theyworkforyou.com for free.
3) Vote Labour on 5 May. Don't reward the Tories with your vote in the coming elections in Plymouth on 5 May. Use your vote to send a message about Tory plans to sell the Land Registry.