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4Children campaign as almost half of UK families sacrifice children's birthday parties to pay the bills

Article By: Laura McCardle, News Editor

A leading children’s charity presented George Osborne with a special cake and card to mark his 42nd birthday after it was revealed that almost half of UK families are unable to afford parties for their children.

Anne Longfield, 4Children chief executive

Representatives from 4Children sent the Chancellor birthday wishes last week as part of the charity’s Fair4Families campaign, which is asking him to recognise that families are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their finances as a result of the rising costs of everyday necessities and reductions in benefits and taxes, often making compromises to pay the bills. They want families with children to be a priority in the Government’s agenda ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review, which will take place on 26 June.

The card presented to Mr Osbourne was based on a survey carried out by YouGov, which reveals 44 per cent of parents are unable to afford a birthday party for their children.

It reads: “Fair4Families campaign supporters would like to wish you a very Happy Birthday. These are tough times for many British families. Families with children are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their finances as a result of the rising cost of every day necessities like food, petrol and childcare, at the same time as cuts to financial support and stagnating wages. This is meaning some families are cutting back on everyday essentials and almost half of parents say they cannot afford to give their child a birthday party.

“Pensioners have rightly been protected from many austerity measures and now benefit from a triple lock on their pensions. Families with children need a triple lock too; with protections frim further cuts for key services families rely on, no further real term cuts to benefits and tax credits paid to families with children; and a positive vision for the future on big issues like housing and childcare.

“With a month to go before you announce your Comprehensive Spending Review we ask you to put families with children at the top of your agenda. Happy, stable families are a massive untapped asset to our country and will play a key role in our economic and social recovery.”

Speaking after the presentation, Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, said: “Families with children throughout Britain are currently going through a tough time; they are being forced to constantly tighten their belts in order to make ends meet. Families are impacted by the rising cost of living and in many cases falling household incomes, and they are now reaching breaking point.

“The Government needs to put families at the heart of the Comprehensive Spending Review on 26 June to protect them from further spending cuts and in turn ensure that parents can continue to provide their children with family memories like birthday parties.”


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