Shankster wrote: It’s a pretty hideous indictment on a supposed civilised (whatever that means) and wealthy country, that there are 4.5m children (14.2m people) living in poverty. 870k children go to bed hungry in the UK.
The worlds 6th largest economy
Sadly the prosperity of a country is largely based on abstract statistics that don't consider the huge gulf between the have's and have nots.
A country (such as ours) can be said to be wealthy on the strength of having produced a small cabal of billionaires, whilst the rest of the population is left behind.
The Channel 5 TV series 'Rich House, Poor House' generally gives an eye-opening insight to the wealth divide. The earlier series were particular good with the two families involved always being well matched. The most recent series seems to have run out of steam a bit. If you've not seen it, they take a family from the top 10% (wealth) and one from the bottom 10% and they swap houses and budgets for a week and live a mini version of the other family's life (as much as is sensible/possible). Typically, the rich family have ~£1700+ per week disposable income and the poor family ~£150 (but sometimes as low as £80). Like all of these kinds of programmes it is obviously somewhat contrived but I think it does a good job of showing just how big the financial divide and just how many barriers and problems there can be for the poor family. Usually both families end up learning a lot and getting a lot from the process.
For me it is the fact that with even a small amount of redistribution of wealth the poor family could have their disposable income doubled and the rich family would hardly notice that strikes me most, i.e. a straight transfer of 10% (~£170pw) from the rich family to the poor family gives the latter a 100% increase in disposable income (to ~£340pw). In the more extreme cases (e.g. where the poor family income is below £100 this kind of calculation is even more stark).
(But then I'm in favour of Universal Basic Income, for which there is plenty of real evidence that it works and has a positive impact across all parts of society - poor or rich, e.g. see Rutger Bregman's excellent book "Utopia for Realists")