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Cost of raising children laid bare by children’s charity CPAG

Child Poverty Action Group have released their latest report illustrating the cost of raising a child to the age of 18, based on a “minimum standard of living”. The report can be found here in full. The report works to the definition that the “… minimum standard of living in the United Kingdom today includes, but is more than just, food, clothes and shelter. It is about having what you need in order to have the opportunities and choices necessary to participate in society.”

Child Poverty Action group estimates that a the overall cost of a child will be in the region of £150,000 as a couple, with that cost rising to over £180,000 if the child is raised by a lone parent. The estimate includes the cost of rent and childcare, and allows for contributions of child benefit and tax credits. The overall cost of a child, including rent and childcare, fell from £155,100 to £150,800 for a couple and from £187,100 to £183,300 for a lone parent. This fall is due to the calculations taking account of the new 30-hour subsidy for childcare for three- and four-year olds, although the report highlights it is important to note that there have been difficulties with this policy’s implementation, and for many families it is simply not accessible – including those not working, those with limited hours of work and those in the half of local authorities where there are not enough 30-hour places to cover all working families.

The report suggests that the complex combination of rising prices and inflation, benefits and tax credits freezes, together with the introduction of the benefit cap and “two-child limit” of tax credits and delays in the roll out of universal credit will continue to hit family budgets hard. Life will continue to get progressively tougher for families on low or modest incomes, on larger families and those families affected by in-work and out-of-work benefits likely to be hit the hardest. The toughest restrictions on families’ ability to make ends meet come for those with at least three children. Under present government policies, a couple with three children and no work, renting within the private housing market, will soon have barely a third of what they need in order to meet their costs.

Commenting on CPAG’s report, Pui Uro stated, “To any parent, the fact that children are expensive will come as no surprise, but perhaps what will be surprising, is quite how expensive they can be. Understanding the cost of raising children is imperative for any parent, no matter their circumstances, but particularly crucial for parents separating and trying to understand how to manage their respective finances to ensure that their children are not adversely affected.”

If you would like to discuss issues relating to your children or finances following the breakdown of a relationship, contact one of our expert solicitors today on 01234 88977 or 0207 177 9777 for a free consultation. Serving Bedford and central London, our lawyers can help you with your family law matters.

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