Millions of vulnerable families with children, who were struggling to put food on the table even before they were hit by the economic impact of coronavirus, are now hanging by a thread.
Action For Children’s pre-pandemic snapshot showed at least 8.6 million children – nearly two-thirds of all children in the UK – were living in families with savings less than the average monthly income (£1,569), while half of children live in families with no savings at all.
With ongoing problems with Universal Credit and delays to vouchers for free school meals, the charity is now warning that these families are on the breadline and has launched an emergency appeal to help families facing months of hardship, struggling to pay for essentials such as food, nappies and utility bills.
The research also found a stark North-South divide in family savings, showing those in the North East were most likely to have little or no money set aside for the crisis (71 per cent), compared to those in the South East (56 per cent) who had the largest financial safety net.
- Vulnerable children in danger of being failed as support moves online
- A tenth of early years sector jobs in jeopardy due to furlough revision
Carole Iddon, deputy chief executive of Action For Children said: ‘With so many families close to breaking point and many more on the breadline, we’re supporting struggling families all over the country through our emergency appeal to help them pay for essentials, and are asking people to donate to Action for Children. But the government must act too, and use the most effective way we have of getting help to children, by increasing child benefit by £10 a week.’
To support Action For Children’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal which is helping families cover the cost of essentials visit Action for Children