We introduce a new criterion for making welfare comparisons based on the absence of deprivation. This method constitutes a natural alternative to the standard approach in normative economics, which consists in comparing the generalised Lorenz curves of the distributions. The generalised Lorenz criterion is consistent with the principle of transfers, which requires that welfare increases as the result of an arbitrary progressive transfer. The criterion we propose obeys a weaker version of the principle of transfers: welfare improves only for some specific combinations of progressive transfers, where the positions of the donors and beneficiaries of the transfers play a crucial role. Classification JEL : D31, D63.