In the wake of the economic crisis, we've all been encouraged to be more realistic about debt. It's a message that will be of little use to those who are forced into the hands of loan sharks by desperation, poverty and the refusal of banks to give them credit. And for all the government's words about financial responsibility, they're letting the loan sharks get away with it.
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).
What do yesterday's announcements mean in terms of tackling the economic crisis, its main victims, and the climate change challenge? Here is my more or less immediate response to Alistair Darling’s final budget.
The World Council of Churches has welcomed the initiative by the G7 industrialised nations which pledged this past weekend to write Haiti's debts off. It has also called on the IMF and others to follow suit.