‘Parents we work with tell us that they’re having to choose between heating their homes and buying clothes for their children,’ Dan Paskins, Save the Children
Millions of adults fear they won’t be able to turn the heating on while it’s cold because of the rising cost of living.
A study of 2,000 adults found 44 per cent are ‘worried’ about their finances for the year ahead, with 71 per cent of those blaming this on price increases for essentials such as food, energy and fuel.
Another 32 per cent put the concerns down to their wages not covering their living costs, while 19 per cent said their Universal Credit payments or other benefits are too low.
While nearly one in five (17 per cent) who have financial concerns have lost their job – or fear they will in 2022.
But of those who are worried about their finances, 22 per cent said they can’t afford to turn the heating on while 11 per cent of those who are also parents worry their children will have to miss out on school trips or extra-curricular activities.
More than one in 10 (11 per cent) won’t be able to buy their children new clothes when needed, 10 per cent will skip meals and nine per cent will have to cut back on food for their children.
Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact at Save the Children, which commissioned the research, said: “In the year 2022, every child in the UK should be guaranteed enough food to eat and a warm home to learn, sleep and play in.
“But today’s findings confirm that as costs of food and fuel rise more quickly than incomes, millions of families in the UK are worrying about how they’ll stay afloat in the year ahead.
“Parents we work with tell us that they’re having to choose between heating their homes and buying clothes for their children.
“Many are constantly worried about meeting basic costs like food and bills. And children are paying the price, whether through missing out on sports or school trips or struggling to keep up at school because they’re cold at home.
“This pandemic has made it clear that we need a strong social security system to support families when things get tough.
“The previous increase to Universal Credit was a lifeline for families up and down the country.
“Reinstating an uplift to Universal Credit would help families and provide some much-needed relief for those facing hardship in the year ahead.”
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found that of those who are worried about their finances in 2022, 54 per cent are concerned they won’t be able to pay the household bills.
More than a third (34 per cent) worry they won’t be able to pay rent, mortgage or other essential bills while 28 per cent fear they won’t have enough to buy the food they need.
In April 2020 Save the Children launched Emergency Response grants to support families living in poverty and impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
These grants provide essential household items such as table and chairs, beds, pushchairs, supermarket vouchers to buy food, as well as a package of play and learning activities, toys and resources to support early learning at home.
Since launching, Save the Children have distributed 8,215 grants to families, supporting almost 18,000 children across the UK.