A survey of over 1,000 adults by respected polling company Survation shows little public appetite for the privatisation of the Land Registry.
In last month’s Autumn statement, and following the passing into law of the 2015 Infrastructure Act, Chancellor George Osborne announced a broad plan to sell-off state-owned assets to raise tens of billions of pounds to tackle the UK’s national debt.
Amongst possible privatisations, the LandReg was listed alongside the Green Investment Bank set up by the former coalition government and the National Air Traffic Services air traffic control body. There has already been media speculation that Rothschild investment bank has been asked to consider options for a sale of the Registry, which has had a monopoly on recording land and property information in England and Wales since 1862.
One report says the Registry, which currently employs some 4,500 people, could be worth around £1.2 billion.
Those polled were given brief descriptions of the nature of the state asset, the rationale behind each planned asset privatisation, alongside a potential counter argument and asked whether or not they supported privatisation or not in each case.
Some 70 per cent were against the proposed privatisation, with 16 per cent in favour and 15 per cent ‘Don’t Knows’. The figures were rounded up by the polling company.
The poll was conducted earlier this month amongst 1,037 adults, and was commissioned by the pro-public ownership capaign body We Own It.