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Recession hits the poorest families hard

Recently, Save the Children spoke to over 100 of the poorest families in the UK (those on less than £15,000 per year income) about debt and the impact of the recession. We found that parents are being prudent and trying to avoid getting into risky debts but nearly half of the parents we spoke to had been forced to cut back on food and heating to make ends meet.

For many of the families we spoke to these practical problems also came at an emotional cost. As a result of money worries, over half of parents were suffering sleepless nights and experiencing high levels of stress and depression. The recent snow for many families was a happy time but for those families it was a stark reminder of the choices needed to make ends meet. A warm winter coat for their children or avoid switching the heating on to save money. This recession is tough for us all but it’s the poorest families who are facing the thin end of the wedge.

It is vital that in the next Budget, the government invests the necessary £3 billion to meet its goal of halving child poverty by 2010. Without that commitment, the long haul out of the recession will much tougher – for everyone.

To find out more about Save the Children’s work in the UK and join the Campaign to End Child Poverty in the UK, go to www.savethechildren.org.uk/endchildpoverty

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