A new research report published Monday shows that child raising cost in Britain has increased by four percent year-on-year, posing big challenge for families especially for those being squeezed by the current rising prices and stagnant wages.
The report by Child Poverty Action Group, an organization for children and young people protection, and co-funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said that parents face a growing struggle to provide a decent standard of living for their families in 2013.
According to the report, it now costs a minimum of 148,000 pounds in total to bring up a child to age 18 and meet their minimum needs, which is around 160 pounds a week, averaging for a child across all ages and including childcare costs and housing.
"This research paints a stark picture," said the group's Chief Executive Alison Garnham, especially the safety net benefits for families and children only rose by one percent. The minimum wage rose by 1.8 percent, average earnings rose by 1.5 percent, and child benefit did not rise at all.
"Every parent knows it's getting harder to pay for the essentials their children need, and they don't feel like politicians see them as a priority, said the Group's chief executive Alison Garnham.
"Child benefit and child tax credit have been cut at the very time families need them most. Families are getting worse off and parents know it," said Garnham.
The report found that working families have had to contend with rapidly increasing childcare costs, which have increased at 5.9 percent in the last year, while many non-working families are now required to pay council tax.
Families face a growing shortfall for the spending their children need, while families receiving out of work benefits face even greater shortfalls of income, said the report.
"The next election is likely to be the first since the 1930s where living standards are lower than the last poll. All parties must go to the country with policies and a commitment to help the prospects of low-income families, said Katie Schmuecker, Policy and Research Manager at Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
"The risk and costs otherwise are enormous. Child poverty costs the Treasury 29 billion pounds a year, a price we can scarcely afford to pay, particularly in the current economic context," Schmuecker said.