I know the arguments and I know how the figures are calculated.
According to the DWP, the median weekly income in 2007/08 for a couple with two children was £601 before housing costs and £533 after housing costs.
Such a couple would be considered poor if their monthly income pre-housing was £361, or £322 after housing.
But this is hardly scrape the ground with a stick style African peasantry poverty, is it? Nor is it Dickensian. This is simply inequality, some having less than others.
I might disagree with those who insist that such inequality is a scandal, one which conclusively proves that taxes must rise to fund more redistribution, but that\’s a disagreement. What irks, if not angers, me is the co-opting of the word "poverty" to describe an income that is, by any historical or global standard, living extremely high upon that fattened hog.