UK re-enters top 15 countries for economic freedom

UK's economic freedom marginally up

The UK is the 14th most free economy in the world, according to research published today by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal in association with the Institute of Economic Affairs. The UK’s score of 74.8 is 0.7 points higher than last year, reflecting positive steps such as corporate tax rate cuts.

Despite this year’s results representing an upturn for the first time in five years, the UK still falls significantly out of the top ten, and scores particularly badly when ranked on business and monetary freedom. This highlights the need for a coherent policy of deregulation to boost productivity.

Commenting on the Index, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Although the UK’s economic freedom score is up on last year, a lack of significant structural reform is still damaging growth prospects.

“This year’s score is just 0.3 points higher than in 2010, so our mediocre record on economic freedom can no longer be attributed to the poor decisions by the previous government.

“The tax burden has grown and businesses are still hampered by significant levels of regulation. These figures should be a wake-up call to the coalition which must undertake key supply-side reforms such as a deregulation of the labour market and liberalisation of planning and energy markets to reduce the cost of living and to allow businesses to flourish.”

Notes to Editors:

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Launched in 1995, the Economic Freedom Index evaluates countries in four broad areas of economic freedom: rule of law; regulatory efficiency; limited government; and open markets. Based on an aggregate score, each of 177 countries graded in the 2013 Index was classified as “free” (i.e. combined scores of 80 or higher); “mostly free” (70-79.9); “moderately free” (60-69.9); “mostly unfree” (50-59.9); or “repressed” (under 50).

Highlights of the report can be downloaded above. The full report is available from the Heritage Foundation website.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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