Conservative coalition ministers should hang their heads in shame over the revelation that Save the Children is expanding its two anti-poverty programmes in Britain, one of the richest countries in the world.
British people are used to responding to appeals by the charity to help save the lives of children in famine-hit countries, but this is the first time that Save the Children is asking for help in raising £500,000 to fund its work in Britain.
No-one would suggest that the levels of poverty and hardship seen in parts of Africa are replicated here.
But this is not to diminish the very real problems experienced in this country where one in eight of the poorest children regularly experience days without a hot meal and one in 10 parents skimp on their own nutrition to feed their children.
Relative poverty probably affects a fifth of children who miss out on school outings because their family cannot afford the cost.
The most scandalous aspect of these shocking revelations is that most children living through these hardships belong to families where at least one parent works, destroying the stereotypes that financial hardship is the result of indolence and that having a job is an antidote to poverty.
Save the Children suggests government support for the introduction of a living wage, extra child support for parents seeking a job and protection from further cuts for the poorest and most disadvantaged families.
Part of the problem is that the government does not accept that it is cutting benefits, insisting that it is simply "reforming" them to recognise people's needs and target those suffering more effectively.
No-one outside the Cabinet and well-heeled supporters of the government outside Parliament believes this nonsense.
Anyone doubting public awareness of the government's cuts agenda would have been instantly disabused by the concerted booing that George Osborne attracted at the Paralympic Games in Stratford this week.
Guardian diarist Hugh Muir quipped in response to the question as to why 80,000 people booed Osborne: "Because that's the capacity of the stadium."
The Chancellor's insistence on ministries cutting expenditure has seen "reform" of the Disability Living Allowance and the linked closure of Remploy factories to force the disabled to compete with able-bodied workers in the jobs market.
Cameron's spineless inability to push through his sacking of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is ascribed by some commentators to the Quiet Man's popularity in light of his understanding and compassion for those living in poverty.
The government rejects action over low pay, inadequate benefits or the rising cost of living brought on by supermarket profiteering, so how is this compassion expressed?
Duncan Smith told us all three months ago that poverty wasn't just about income, which is easy to say if you've married into money and been given a top job by your father-in-law.
He, like his new Labour predecessors, blames poor people themselves, insisting that the unemployed should seek work-related experience on government-approved schemes or lose benefits, which has proved a nice little earner for A4E, Atos and other private companies.
When jobs are scarce, government has a responsibility to create them and to insist on workers receiving a living wage.
Blaming people for not having a job and treating parents as feckless because their children go without isn't compassion. It smacks of the ancient Tory blood sport of scapegoating.
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