Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin urges rethink on Land Registry sell-off

Dudley MP Ian Austin has added his name to a letter sent by Labour MPs opposing the government’s decision to privatise the Land Registry.

The Land Registry is being put up for sale less than two years after the Liberal Democrats blocked the Conservatives’ previous plans to privatise the agency.

The government is selling off the Land Registry but Austin and other Labour MPs are concerned that the privatisation would clear the way for trusts and shell companies registered in tax havens to purchase properties and land in the UK.

Austin is calling for the Business Secretary Sajid Javid not to put short-term profit above openness and accountability.

Ian Austin said:

“Tax avoidance is hugely damaging at home and abroad. While millions of families and the vast majority of British firms pay their fair share, it's not right that some firms and individuals don't.

“That's why I find it really worrying that companies bidding for the Land Registry are reported to be linked to offshore tax havens.

“The Land Registry made a profit of over £100m in 2015, so I am concerned that the Government is sacrificing this country’s long-term interests just so it can balance its books in the short term.”

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