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Parents struggling as cost of raising a child ‘hits £148k’

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Parents are struggling to provide a decent standard of living for their families as the cost of bringing up a child has risen to £148,000, research suggests.

The study by Child Poverty Action Group and co-funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that costs had increased by 4% in 2013.

It also found that the value of both child benefit and child tax credit relative to the costs of raising a child has decreased in the last year with many low-income families experiencing cuts in housing support with the introduction of changes such as the ‘bedroom tax’.

At the same time, working families have had to contend with rapidly increasing childcare costs, which have increased at 5.9% in the last year, while many non-working families are now required to pay council tax.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said: “This research paints a stark picture of families being squeezed by rising prices and stagnant wages, yet receiving ever-diminishing support from the government over the course of the last year.

“Every parent knows it’s getting harder to pay for the essentials their children need, and they don’t feel like politicians see them as a priority. Child benefit and child tax credit have been cut at the very time families need them most. Families are getting worse off and parents know it.

“If every child in Britain can grow up healthy, well-educated and an active participant in their community, we all benefit from a more prosperous economy. This was well understood by the post-war generation who prioritised universal benefits for all children despite being much deeper in debt than we are today.

“As we move towards a ‘living standards election’, now would be a good time to renew our national commitment to all our children.”