Opinion & Debate

Published on December 17th, 2013 | by Kelly Rose Bradford

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Single parents hit by austerity measures and rising cost of living

Single parents’ charity Gingerbread has published research which shows how severely lone parents have been affected by austerity measures and the rising cost of living.

The organisation found that single parent incomes dropped by six per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12, falling even further behind those of two-parent families which have, on average, remained static. 

The figures also showed that single parents have been hit harder by the rising costs of household essentials, which account for a third of their spending, compared with a quarter of couple families’ outgoings.

Gingerbread have warned that their findings suggest many single parent families will be facing a ‘tough winter in severe financial hardship’.

Chief executive Fiona Weir said: “Single parents are doing a remarkable job holding their families together while under immense financial pressure from rising costs and falling incomes – but it’s taking its toll and many face a very bleak Christmas.

“Too many single parents are unable to build a savings safety net, as all their resources are needed to cover the essentials for their families. This means they are often forced to borrow money when faced with unexpected bills.”

Ms Weir added some lone parents will now have to make ‘very difficult decisions’ over heating and food for their families, having already pared back all they can.

“We know that for the majority, things won’t get better over the next few years. It is difficult to see how they can survive under further cuts without government action on high living costs, barriers to work and finding work that pays,” she said.

Read the full report here.

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About the Author

Kelly Rose Bradford

is a London-based journalist and broadcaster, writing for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph, and a host of women's magazines. Her robust opinions and feisty debating skills make her in demand as a social commentator, regularly guesting on ITV's This Morning programme, and across many radio stations, including 5 Live and BBC Radio London.



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