Paradise Papers

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 6th November 2017.

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Photo of Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland) 3:39 pm, 6th November 2017

Over 100,000 properties in the UK, worth over £122 billion, are owned by overseas-registered UK companies in the British Virgin Islands and the Channel Islands, and that represents a conservatively estimated £2 billion in tax avoidance a year, enough to close the benefits fraud gap in one fell swoop. That is just a conservative estimate, however, and a third of the properties in the Land Registry do not even have property transaction data. Does the Minister agree that now is an opportune moment to grip the Land Registry and ensure it has compulsory registration of land and property in the UK, with the full structure of ownership and their value, so we can understand the full scale of the exploitation of UK land and property for tax avoidance purposes?