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Work and childcare costs wipe out parents’ wages

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Astronomical childcare costs and work expenses are almost entirely wiping out parents' wages, a study has found.

Analysis by Aviva found that a woman with two children on an average annual income of £19,178 is left with a real monthly income of just £135 when nursery costs, out of school care and expenses associated with employment such as transport, food and clothing are taken into account.

The insurer found that nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of families with dependent children have seen at least one parent give up work because of rising costs, while a further 26 per cent have reduced their working hours.

Louise Colley of Aviva said: “This study shows clearly that the dilemma of ‘to work or not to work’ is very real for thousands of families. With childcare fees and the cost of commuting steadily rising, it’s a real consideration for many two-parent families as to whether a second salary will actually mean the household is better off, particularly if there is more than one child requiring day care.”

The study comes just weeks after the government announced a new voucher system in this year’s Budget which will give nearly two million working families a tax-free childcare allowance worth up to £2,000 per child from autumn 2015.

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