Public spending rise sees UK fall down freedom rankings

BRITONS face increasing restrictions on their financial and businesses freedoms, according to an international survey released today.

Last year the UK dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries, and has plummeted a further five places in today’s report.

The UK is now ranked 16 in the world, below countries such as Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the US.

Business freedom and labour freedom both dropped in the UK, according to the report which was released in association with the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA).

“The decline is doing significant harm to business and the UK’s growth prospects,” said IEA economist Philip Booth. “In many areas regulation has increased or is set to increase. The rankings are a serious wake up call to the coalition.”

Growing public spending and taxation were the main causes of the drop down the table.

“The UK has a high income tax rate,” the report said.

“Government spending has risen steadily since the 1990s, and gross public debt has climbed to over 70 per cent of GDP.”

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