Amid the welter of statistics and analysis which is pouring forth around Chancellor George Osborne's emergency budget, those who care for social justice should not let their eyes stray from the sleights of hand that rest at its core.
In the run-up to the government's 'emergency budget', the overwhelming political consensus, parroted each day by the BBC’s economic correspondents, is that ’balancing the budget’ and ’slashing the deficit’ is now a national priority.
David Cameron has said the government's massive cuts will be delivered in a way that “strengthens and unites the country”. His words remind me of his colleague's George Osborne's claim that, when it comes to tackling the economic situation, “we're all in this together”.
The government appears likely to miss its target of halving child poverty by 2010 by at least 600,000 children, according to figures given in yesterday's budget and highlighted by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).