Darling left red-faced as ‘bust’ nations overtake UK in world prosperity index

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  By Martin Kelly
 
Head of the anti-independence campaign Alistair Darling has been left red faced today after the latest prosperity table showed the UK has been overtaken by two countries he claimed this week were “bust”.
 
According to the latest publication from the Legatum Prosperity Index, Ireland and Iceland have now overtaken the United Kingdom in the most prosperous league table.

  By Martin Kelly
 
Head of the anti-independence campaign Alistair Darling has been left red faced today after the latest prosperity table showed the UK has been overtaken by two countries he claimed this week were “bust”.
 
According to the latest publication from the Legatum Prosperity Index, Ireland and Iceland have now overtaken the United Kingdom in the most prosperous league table.

The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking, developed by the Legatum Institute, of 142 countries.  The ranking is based on a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth and quality of life. 

This year the 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index™, which includes five consecutive years of comparable data, placed the UK below Ireland and Iceland.

According to this years results, Ireland has moved up to number 12 and Iceland one below in 13.  However the UK has dropped three places to number 16.

The results are embarrassing for Labour MP Alistair Darling who this week claimed both countries were “bust”.

Speaking on Radio Scotland, Mr Darling, who heads the anti-independence campaign Better Together raised the issue of small countries around Europe in response to SNP claims that an independent Scotland could emulate their economic growth.

He said: “Which small countries are we looking at?  Are we looking at Ireland, are we looking at Iceland, are we looking at Portugal?  Small countries bust because of what happened.”

According to official figures, both Ireland and Iceland have a GDP per head of population greater than the UK.

In 2012 the UK per capita GDP was €30,500 which was lower than the €32,900 figure for Iceland and also the €35,700 figure for Ireland.  The deficit as a proportion of GDP was mixed with 6.10% for the UK, 3.8% for Iceland and 8.2% for Ireland.

The up-to-date league of prosperous nations showed many small independent countries outperforming their larger rivals with Norway once again coming out on top.  Included in the top-ten were Finland, Luxembourg, Denmark and New Zealand.