A rapidly declining trust in politicians and the wastefulness of government spending is hampering Ireland's recovery, according to a new survey which ranks business opportunities around the world.
According to the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) – the 'bible' for the world's business leaders – Ireland is ranked 93rd of the 139 countries surveyed for "wastefulness of government spending". This puts Ireland behind countries such as Burkina Faso and Lesotho in Africa. And Ireland is ranked 65th in terms of "public trust in politicians" which puts us behind countries like Morocco, Chile, Mauritius and even Iceland, which was almost bankrupted as a result of the global financial collapse.
Not surprisingly we are in the drop zone when it comes to "government budget balance", ranked 130 out of the 139 countries surveyed. Only the likes of Chad, Jamaica and Botswana are worse off.
Ireland is only slightly better off when it comes to "government debt", where we are ranked 112th.
And the country is, of course, well down the rankings when it comes to anything to do with banks. Under "ease of access to loans" Ireland is ranked 117th; is actually in last place – 139th – in terms of "soundness of banks"; and is ranked 90th for regulation.
Overall, Ireland is ranked 29th in the GCI, and while this is still within the top 30, it continues our downward momentum from 25th last year and 22nd the year before.