Cost of living puts strain on parents

Families’ minimum cost of living is up 5% on last year for struggling parents

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Parents must earn 5% more this year than they did last year to maintain an acceptable standard of living for their family, according to a new report.

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Cuts to childcare and child benefits, combined with rising prices and VAT, have raised the minimum parents need to earn this year to £18,400, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

“Earnings have risen by less than inflation, meaning that many people on low incomes are finding it substantially harder to make ends meet than a year ago,” the report stated. “This report is an early sign of the huge impact that even seemingly modest changes in the welfare system can have, especially for low-income working families who depend on it to achieve an acceptable living standard,” it continued.

Despite this, the Government claims to be doing all it can to help families feeling the squeeze. In a statement, it explained that it had “announced above-inflation increases to the child element of the Child Tax Credit, partly by recycling the savings from freezing child benefit.”

But with the price of fuel, childcare and food significantly higher than a year ago, families continue to feel the pinch.

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