Poverty requires a global context

It has emerged that David Bennett, the man who challenged work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to live on £53 a week, actually earns £156 a week. But as we discussed yesterday, the sum earnt really isn't the point. We should be more concerned about making sure that people can buy more with their money.

Some have sprung to say that even £156 a week is still no princely sum. This may be true by the standards of the UK, but this is a parochial perspective. Giving What We Can, an international society dedicated to eliminating poverty in the developing world, provides a tool that can offer wider context. At £8,112 per year, Mr. Bennett remains in the wealthiest 10 per cent of the world's population. His income stands at 11 times the global average.

That is not to say that Mr. Bennett should be satisfied with an annual income of £8,112, but it does show how much better life is in market orientated economies, even for those we would consider poor.

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