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UK nixes Land Registry sale

The UK government has ditched plans to privatise the Land Registry, the organisation that records property ownership in England and Wales.

The organisation, which has done its work since 1862, was calculated to be worth between £6.2bn and £7.2bn ($8.2bn to $9.6bn) per year thanks to its enormous and authoritative database and its work in providing house price data that the government uses to determine policy. Former chancellor George Osborne proposed selling it off as a way to raise money and pay down national debt.

The idea hit serious criticism from, among others, the Competition and Markets Authority, which warned it would create a private monopoly over public data.

The sale was due to be included in a new neighbourhood planning bill this week, but that will no longer happen, killing the idea for the near future. ®

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