The War on Wany report about Asda, Tesco and Primark selling goods where the factory workers in impoverished countries are receiving as little as five pence an hour should not come as a shock.
I've bough a couple of T-shirts from Primark for as little as four pounds each. I never assumed the workers were earning the UK minimum wage because they wouldn't make a profit on just £4.
The fact is that UK shoppers want cheap clothes as an option.
What I was confused about was the War on Want wanted consumers to "write to the shops telling them how unhappy they" and want the government to "introduce leglislation". They don't actually make clear what they want the legislation to say or even tell us in their report what they would do.
I'm not advocating that paying slave wages is good, but 5p an hour relative to no income at all in a poor country where there is no welfare state is different from earning 5p an hour in the UK. We do need to look at it in relative terms. I would be happy to pay more for my T-shirts, but will all shoppers ?