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Parenting financial burden increasing on low-income families

Article By: Richard Howard, News Editor

Figures released from debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) suggest that low-income families are facing financial crisis if they take the decision to have children.

Reporting on its feedback from mothers of early years children, the CCCS believes that the drop in income when individuals go on maternity leave is the key reason for more and more families struggling, while the charity also highlights the alarming trend of mothers finding it impossible to return to work once raising a new born, or else only being able to take up part-time posts.

As might be expected, families earning less than £10,000 a year are found to be the most vulnerable, earning less money than they need to cover basic living expenses. Although the charity reports that those earning between £10,000 and £20,000 are not much better off, with an average of £16 spending money each month, after living expenses, recorded alongside an alarming £12,384 of average debt.

CCCS external affairs director Delroy Corinaldi, comments: “While becoming a parent is a wonderful event, the financial impact can put a lot of pressure on new parents. This is particularly so, if they are on low incomes and struggling to make ends meet even before the new baby arrives. It is therefore crucial that new parents claim the benefits that they are entitled to such as child benefit”

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet founder and chief executive, says: "First-time parents can be completely flummoxed by the array of infant products on the market and find it hard to fathom exactly what their baby actually needs.

“Often there's also a drop in income to manage and/or the cost of childcare for those who return to work so all in all having a child can put a huge strain on families' finances.”


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