Land Registry workers ready to fight privatisation

PCS members in action, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS members in action, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Dave Lunn, PCS union rep

At 5pm on the evening before parliament recessed for Easter, plans to consult on the proposed privatisation of Land Registry were sneakily released by George Osborne’s office.

This comes less than two years after previous plans for privatisation by the Con-Dem government were defeated by a mass campaign led by the PCS union.

A 38 Degrees petition received over 100,000 signatures followed by two days of strike action, with many members getting active for the first time. This forced the government to retreat.

We knew though that a Tory majority government would come after us again.


This time their rationale for privatisation has changed – from supporting digitisation of Land Registry services to raising a capital receipt for paying down debt and supporting the government’s infrastructure programme.

Having considered their flimsy case, it’s clear this is less about raising money for the public good and is more about transferring profitable public assets to their big city mates, with the liability retained by government. In effect nationalising the risk and privatising the profit.

We are ready for them, however, and are currently putting together a submission in response to the consultation document which rebuts their arguments and puts forward an alternative that is in the interest of our members, customers and wider society.

We will follow this up with campaigning with customers and industrial action if required.