Scotland picks up wooden spoon

Alex Salmond, the head of Scotland's newly elected SNP government, has an uphill task ahead if he is to fulfil his aspirations of making the country healthier, wealthier, and fairer.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The Federations of Small Business' annual index of wealth has found Scotland to be the ‘worst small country' in western Europe in terms of economic performance, employment, health, and education. It was up against other nations with populations lower than 9m, such as Norway and the Republic of Ireland.

Scotland also slipped one place down the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's ranking of the world's 24 most developed countries, to 17th. Though Scotland was above average in terms of employment, economy and education, its poor life expectancy (just under 74 years for men) dragged the country's placing down the table.

Glasgow City was the worst performing local authority area in Scotland with the lowest scores in mortality, education, and employment. This is all pretty grim news for Scotland, which has faced huge criticism for its high-spending and over-sized public sector. 

A Scottish government spokeswoman said the higher achieving small countries in western Europe formed ‘an arc of prosperity' around Scotland and showed what could be achieved. So, best foot forward Alex into an independent land of milk and honey. But best lay off the full-fat milk. And absolutely NO deep-fried Mars bars.


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