LETTER: Ignoble rank

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WHERE Hamish McRae describes the league table of world prosperity as "nearly correct" (Business, "A seismic shift to the East", 5 November) I would assert that the figures we used are absolutely accurate.

The table used is taken directly from the Department of Trade and Industry's Competitiveness Report, Forging Ahead. Information in this DTI publication shows the UK in 18th place based on the latest figures. OECD figures further confirm that the UK was ranked 13th in the world prosperity league back in 1979.

Some 16 years of Conservative government have resulted in economic decline, causing the UK to slump from 13th to 18th in the world prosperity league.

Andrew Smith

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

House of Commons

London SW1