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The Independent: "The Panama Papers expose how the global elite ruined the housing market and stopped you from buying a home"

"UK property valued at £170bn is held by overseas investors. While the wealthiest hold their spoils in empty property, the cost of living goes up for everyone"

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"Even before the leak of the Panama Papers this week, we knew it was happening. So widespread is the use of central London property as a safe haven for the spoils of the world’s elite that the government had already promised to do something about it. The problem is, it promised so little.

Last year, speaking in Singapore, David Cameron was forced to acknowledge that foreign investment in British housing stock was damaging to the housing market and provided a cover for illegal activities. He agreed to crack down on individuals and organisations using the mask of offshore companies to invest in the UK property market as a means to launder what he called 'dirty money'. He described how London property was being snapped up with 'plundered and laundered cash' and promised that the UK should not be a 'safe haven for corrupt money'. But it wasn’t enough.

In making the speech, Cameron was responding to a growing realisation that, in ushering in foreign investment, the government had also welcomed in a wealthy elite that objected to transparency in its financial dealings. Did we really know what, or who, we were dealing with? More importantly, did we understand how significant an effect their secret spending with the global luxury real estate brokers of Mayfair was having on everyone else, right down to the family trying to buy a modest two-bedroom semi in Chelmsford?"

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