MATTHEW LAVERACK pretends his latest attack on the poor is merely constructive criticism of the Stamp Out Poverty campaign. Sadly his letter of December 31 gives the lie to that assertion.

“If children are obese, they cannot be poor” goes his line, whereas the reality is that most cheap food is over processed junk, while good quality, nutritional food costs more.

While research suggests the opposite – that poor people often go without food so their children can eat and are excellent at budgeting – I question why poor people must never make poor choices. I know I do from time to time and suspect even Mr Laverack does too.

I know Mr Laverack had no TV, hot water, bathroom or car when he was born. I suggest in 1951 such circumstances were not unusual. The key to assessing poverty is to consider the income required to reasonably participate in society, which can be measured by what JRF call a “minimum income standard”.

Surely that is what we should all work towards. By investing in each other, we can provide a more supportive structure in our communities rather than our increasingly atomised society in which we heap opprobrium on whoever is the ‘other’.

Richard Bridge, Holgate Road, York.