A fellow Echo reader questioned my claim that Britain is one of the wealthiest countries on earth. There are many ways of measuring a country's wealth. In terms of Gross Domestic Product, the UK is the fifth richest country in the world.

It is more useful to compare Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, which is the total amount of money earned by a nation's people and businesses, divided by its population.

On this scale, according to the World bank, Britain is the 23rd richest out of 193 countries, with a GNI of $42,000 per person, compared with one of the poorest, Burundi, with an income of just $280 per person a year.

By any measure, Britain is indeed one of the wealthiest countries on earth.
Obviously, this does not mean all British people are wealthy – far from it! As I pointed out previously, a quarter of Britain's wealth is held by the richest one per cent. 

Slavery and colonisation are not the only ways in which the rich and powerful have enriched themselves at the expense of others, including the British working classes, as Mr Young rightly notes. However, he is wrong to say that this is an issue which I have ignored.

I have written many letters to HAS protesting about the unfair distribution of wealth both nationally and globally, calling for a progressive tax system, an end to tax evasion, a proper living wage for all, and for an end to the unfair systems of international trade and finance which cost poorer countries far more than they receive in aid.

Pete Winstanley, Durham.