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New research shows childhood getting more expensive

Recent research has detailed the costs of meeting the minimum basic needs of a child in 2012.

Key findings from the research, which was conducted by Child Poverty Action Group and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, include:

  • It costs £143,000 in total to bring up a child to age 18 and meet their minimum needs, which is around £150 a week (averaged for a child across all ages and including childcare costs and housing).
  • The basic cost of raising children has risen faster than inflation (CPI) in recent years, meaning that with wages falling behind and benefits being cut, Britain is moving backwards for the prosperity of our children.
  • Childcare can add as much as £60k to the total cost of childhood. Childcare is one of the factors most responsible for the costs of children’s needs rising faster than inflation. The main state support for childcare costs is through tax credits and it was cut by 12.5% in April 2011.
  • State support fails to ensure basic physical needs are met, leaving many families lacking sufficient funds for a healthy diet for the whole family and living in unhealthy housing conditions with problems like overcrowding and damp. The maximum support available only meets between 73% and 94% (depending on family composition) of basic costs for children.

Commenting on the report, Jane Robey, Chief Executive Officer of National Family Mediation said:

"The picture does not get any better for working parents. As the pressures on families mounts, so does the long-term damage on the cohesion within families. Often, these worsening circumstances lead to a break up of couple relationships. This has a tremendously negative impact on any child in that family".

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