Family finances ‘in crisis’ warn charities
A third of parents in Scotland are struggling to pay basic bills and are experiencing increased stress and anxiety, according to a new report by a group of Scottish charities.
The survey for Parenting Across Scotland (PAS) also showed cuts to tax credits and working hours were having a detrimental effect on household finances, with single parents finding it harder to cope.
The report, timed to coincide with Chancellor George Osborne’s Spending Review, warns against the further cuts to tax credits planned by the UK government.
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PAS project manager Clare Simpson said families cannot plan for the future when having to cut food and energy bills.
“Families have been told they should work to get out of poverty. And yet, our survey shows that, for too many parents, working does not mean escaping poverty. For many, tax credits have provided some protection against falling into poverty, and now it looks like even that option may be withdrawn. It seems that, no matter how hard families try to do the best for their children, they just cannot win.
“We urge Westminster and Holyrood governments to make sure that efforts to combat poverty focus on those who are already struggling as well as on those ‘in between’ who, through no fault of their own, may be thrown into the red by even the smallest change,” she said.
Around one in three parents also said changes to financial circumstances meant they spend less time with their children.
The PAS partners are Children 1st, Aberlour, Capability Scotland, Children in Scotland, Families Outside, One Parent Families Scotland, Relationships Scotland, Scottish Adoption and the Spark.