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Christmas a stressful time for families

A recent survey has found that the festive period can place additional financial and emotional strain on families already struggling to cope with their financial situation. 


The survey, by the Family and Parenting Institute, found that 67% of parents with children under 18 are worried their household income will not cover bills in 2012. Financial concerns have left 20% of parents with children under 18 in tears at some point in 2011 - rising to more than a quarter (27%) of parents with children under five. A third (34%) of parents with children under 18 have been left feeling ‘unable to cope’ due to their financial situation in the past year.


The survey asked married or cohabiting parents of under 18s how financial concerns had affected their relationship with their partner. More than one in ten (14%) said financial concerns have caused them to worry they might split up or divorce, rising to 40% for parents aged between 18 and 24.


Family and Parenting Institute CEO, Dr Katherine Rake, said:


“As a charity we have long been concerned by the commercialisation of childhood. Tough economic times make the issue all the more significant in terms of family wellbeing. Parents can be pressured to overcompensate for a difficult year through generous Christmas spending. What a tragedy if Christmas 2011 burdens families with even deeper debts for 2012.”


“Changes to tax and benefits for families are having unintended consequences. That’s why we’re urging the Coalition Government to stay true to its promise of ‘family testing’ all new policies, ensuring the impact on family life is always considered.”


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