1m kids risk being without food, clothes, warns report
‘Families are living in practically Dickensian levels of poverty and face a desperate Christmas’
LONDON: One million of the youngest children could be deprived of basics — such as warm winter clothing, fresh food or celebrations — this Christmas, a new report warns.
The UK risks “Dickensian” levels of poverty as hundreds of thousands of children aged 10 or under face a desperate Christmas, an analysis of Government igures By CHARITY Action For CHILDREN inds.
And a new survey from the charity, of 2,000 parents, reveals that more families are feeling the squeeze over the festive period.
(46 per cent) of parents say they have been cutting back on Christmas essentials including presents, Christmas dinner and a tree, while a quarter of parents report getting into debt to cover the cost of Christmas.
The charity, which has seen a 30 per Cent rise In FAMILIES SEEKING inancial advice from its services over the last three years, plans to run unofficial Foodbanks over the festive period to help families.
Paul and Donna Maund, who have four children under 10, are having to cut back on Christmas this year after they have found paying the monthly bills an increasing struggle.
Despite Maund working full-time at a sandwich bar in Norwich, the family has to rely on Benefits to pay For THE weekly food shopping and nappies for their one-year-old, as well as for their rent.
“It won’t be long before we’ll have to start using foodbanks as I’ve noticed prices going up and up,” Maund said.
SHE ADDED: “By inding THE BARGAINS at discount supermarkets I’ve worked hard to get my weekly food bill for the whole family down to £45 but the only way we can afford Christmas dinner and all the treats for the kids this year is by going to my parents.
“I’VE BEEN trying to save AND ind one present a week over the past few months, but it’s been hard.”
Julie Bentley, chief executive for Action for Children, said: “Our youngest children should be waking up in a warm bed after a visit from Santa on Christmas morning, but the shocking truth is that in 2018 many will be cold AND Hungry In THE ifth RICHEST Country of the world.
“No parent should be forced to face the appalling choice between ‘eating or heating’ at Christmas but this is the reality for far too many in the UK today.”
Bentley added: “While the government tells us austerity is at an end, Every DAY we SEE irst-hand THE Impossible choices that families living in practically Dickensian levels of poverty have to make.”
A staff member poses for a photograph next to the Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City at the V&A Museum, in London on Wednesday.