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WITH regard to your editorial "To have and have not" (12 February), an interesting comparison can be made between the Rowntree report and the recent French figures on wages, roughly spanning the two socialist presidencies. Between 1981 and 1993, the bottom tenth of the population saw its average wage packet increase by 11.4 per cent, the top tenth by 12.4 per cent.

Wage inequalities have certainly not been "cancelled out" in France and these are not figures that the French socialists will wish to flaunt as their presidential campaign moves into second gear. However, the Thatcher- Major reign would seem to be way ahead in the cross-Channel inequality stakes.

Brendan Prendiville

Paris

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