A letter that won\’t appear in The G I think

Sirs,

Might I suggest an intensive, remedial, course in numbers for your columnists and (sub) editors?

Peter Wilby informs us that Britons donate 0.7% of GDP to charities and also that the income of charities is some £35 million a year. This implies that GDP is of the order of £5 billion a year: rather than the true figure of near £1,400 billion. If the 0.7% figure is correct, then this means that charitable donations are more like £10 billion a year.

It isn\’t that such numbers, used purely to illustrate his point, have to be all that accurate, but to be out by more than two orders of magnitude displays a rather cavalier attitude towards sums.

You would not employ someone who butchered the language so: might I suggest that basic numeracy is as important as the literacy you so rightly already prize?

yours etc.

Tim Worstall
Casa Joao,
Bernarda
Messines, Portugal

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