It is now abundantly clear that selling the Land Registry will not only deprive the UK Treasury of more than £100 million a year, but it will facilitate fraud and other financial crimes including money-laundering.
If the Conservative Government insists on continuing with the sale, one can only conclude that aiding financial crime is the intention.
One would have thought that the (current) prime minister, who gained the nickname ‘Dodgy Dave’ after his association with an offshore banking scheme became public knowledge, would want to stay away from such accusations from now on.
More than 60 MPs have signed a letter calling on the government to abandon controversial plans to privatise the Land Registry.
The letter, written by the Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, and seen by the Guardian, warns that selling off the 150-year-old agency will make it easier for criminals to use the UK property market to launder cash.
The Green party leadership contender Caroline Lucas, Liberal Democrat Tom Brake and shadow cabinet members Ian Murray and Louise Haigh are among the signatories to the letter, which urges the government to reconsider its plans.
The government has pledged to make offshore ownership of UK properties more transparent, with David Cameron last year declaring that “London is not a place to stash your dodgy cash”, and reiterating the promise at a recent anti-corruption summit.
The Guardian recently found that more than 40,000 properties in London are registered in the names of offshore companies, whose ultimate ownership is often unclear.
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