THE BRITISH economy held its spot in a major US think tank’s economic freedom rankings for 2014.
The UK came in 14th place, unchanged from last year, sandwiched between Bahrain and the Netherlands, and fourth in the European Union. Ireland jumped two places to 9th, making it the highest-ranking EU country on the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. France came in at 70th, down from 62nd.
The tables take into account the country’s rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency and open markets. For their measure of the rule of law, the UK dropped from 78 points out of 100 to 76.4.
The report’s authors cited “high-profile scandals” which have “damaged political reputations in both major parties” as part of the justification for the reduced score.
Despite the drop in some parts of the index, the UK’s score for government spending rose slightly, with the foundation crediting falling public expenditure as a share of GDP.
Hong Kong hangs on to the top spot once again, but the US economy dropped out of the top 10 places, down to 12th, in a sign of its shift to greater corporatism.