Runaway debt, a credit downgrade, sluggish to negative growth and an unrepentant finance minister are prompting analysts to question the U.K. government's economic policy.
Last week, a senior German lawmaker called France the "problem child" of the euro zone. "The French need to do their homework - they're very, very behind other countries and that is alarming because France is the second biggest economy in Europe," conservative lawmaker Michael Fuchs said.
But in several key economic metrics, Britain isn't much better than France. Both the French and U.K. economies contracted by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. The U.K.'s current account deficit is expected to be 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, only a bit lower than France's 3.7 percent.
In fact, the U.K. current account deficit is predicted to be higher this year than it was in 2009 - the only developed economy to suffer such an increase.
Britain's debt-to-GDP ratio is now at 85.8 percent, not far from France's 89.9 percent.
Moody's on Friday downgraded the U.K.'s prized AAA credit rating one notch to Aa1. While Moody's said the U.K.'s credit-worthiness remained "extremely high", it attributed the downgrade to weakness in the country's medium-term growth outlook and an increasing debt burden which would peak at 96 percent of gross domestic product in 2016.
Despite calls from the opposition Labour party that the finance minister focus on growth, George Osborne said the government would not change its austerity program.