Ethics of income

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Joe Darby (Letters, 24 January) shows how vast inequalities in income and wealth can be rationalised with semantic quibbles. Surely it doesn’t need subjective definitions of “rich and poor” to understand a recent statistical report?

A recent High Pay Centre study shows FTSE 100 chief executives received £1,000 an hour in 2012. Moreover, on a global level, Oxfam reports that the “85 richest people have wealth of the 3.5 billion poorest” combined (your report, 20 January).

Don’t the Christian ethics make clear Jesus’s view of “poor and rich” in the parable of Lazarus? Isn’t it unfair to constrain incomes of the low paid but not those of the highest paid?

Also, the importance of money being “spread around” in the economy must be recognised. Arguably, as the economist JK Galbraith says, “an egalitarian income distribution is an indispensable aspect of successful economic policy”.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

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