Poverty Facts and Fiction

By Raffique Shah
July 18, 2010

PovertyEVERY time I hear someone parrot poverty numbers in my Trinidad and Tobago, I wince. Politicians, and many ordinary citizens, often accept as the “gospel truth” the amount of people in this country said to be living “below the absolute poverty line”, defined as US$1 a day. The estimated numbers range from 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the population, which suggests there are between 130,000 and 260,000 desperately poor people in our midst living on less than TT$6.37 a day. That’s around $190 a month.
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