Nia Griffith MP, Shadow Wales Minister, has welcomed support from the Law Society and Council of Property Search Organisations in opposing Government plans to privatise the Land Registry. The Llanelli MP, who has previously called plans to privatise the Land Registry daylight robbery, explained:
“At a high level meeting in the House of Commons, organised by my Labour colleague, Toby Perkins MP, Shadow Business Minister, whose remit includes the Land Registry we heard of real concerns from representatives of the Law Society and the Council of Property Search Organisations.Jonathan Smithers,deputy vice chair of the Law Society and James Snelwood Rogers from the Council of Property Search Organisations explained that in their analysis a privatised land registry would inevitably end up being a private monopoly which could impose rip off fees and provide a worse service for their clients.”
“Leaked documents show that the Government is determined to push ahead with privatisation plans and that the latest consultation has been a sham. They are clearly not listening to respected independent bodies like the Law Society, nevermind their own employees represented by the First Division Association and the Public and Commercial Services Union”
“The Land Registry currently has a customer satisfaction rating of 98% and brings in nearly £100 million into the Treasury in profits each year, so it is madness to steal this from the taxpayer and stuff it into the pockets of private contractors, who would probably then add insult to injury by hiking the fees and ripping off the public.
How could you possibly guarantee that there would not be conflicts of interest if it were a private company? Would a private company keep offices in Swansea or would it be outsourced to some far-flung place where they cannot tell one Welsh name from another? Then there is the issue of data protection: I am advised that there would be nothing in law to prevent a private company selling on personal data to buyers who want the information.We must resist any attempt by this Government to push through privatisation.”