The gap between rich and poor is too high, but we can do better than the Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund.

The Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund, which aims to raise £1 million to combat child poverty in London, has received it’s first £100,000 from wealthy hedge fund boss Pierre Lagrange who says that it is important to ‘help everyone live a little better.’

A noble sentiment indeed. Just to put this philanthropic gesture into context, if one was to distribute Lagrange’s generous donation to the estimated 650,000 children living in poverty in London they would receive an egalitarian 15 pence each.

But let’s not be too cynical. £100,000 is certainly a large amount of money for any individual to be able to donate to charity and it is of course only the first step. If the fund reaches its £1 million target and is matched pound for pound by the ConDems, the resulting £2 million would enable each poverty stricken child to received a whopping 3 pounds and 7 pence.

High profile figures have lent their support to the fund with David Milliband proclaiming that ‘the gap between rich and poor in our capital is too high.’ It’s not quite clear what size gap between rich and poor David considers appropriate.

Before we get too gooey-eyed about the ConDems’ rampant generosity we might perhaps pause to consider a rather unfortunate statistic, revealed in the same edition of the Standard which waxed lyrical about its pioneering fund.

The government’s forthcoming housing benefit cuts could result in 750,000 people losing their homes according to the National Housing Federation, the highest figure in 30 years. That’s 100,000 more people than there are poverty stricken children in London.

Perhaps the Standard will launch a charity fund for the homeless as well. But like children in poverty, they may need more than £3 to see them through.

Dan Poulton

Dan is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner.  His most recent documentary was The New Scramble For Africa and his documentaries have appeared regularly on the Islam Channel. He is an organiser for Counterfire and a regular contributor to Counterfire site.