Families struggle as costs rise and support diminishes

The cost of raising a child is on the up, report finds

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The cost of raising a child up to the age of 18 is now £148,000, according to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG). This is an increase of 4% compared to last year, their research finds.

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The report, co-funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, also says that while the cost of living has increased for families, benefits payments have risen by only 1% this year.

“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,” said Alison Garnham, the chief executive of the CPAG.

The government’s recent reforms include cutting income tax, increasing minimum wage by 1.8% and freezing child benefit.

Childcare presents one of the largest strains on family budgets, the CPAG says, with costs rising sharply by 5.9% over the last year. Many low-income families have also experienced cuts in housing support and increased outgonigs such as the ‘bedroom tax’.

The government says its benefit reforms are designed to encourage more people to go out to work.

“We know times are tough, and we are securing a recovery for everyone who wants to work hard,” said a government spokesperson.

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