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Children in a cost of living crisis

The cost of living crisis is having a severe impact on families with children. The Coronavirus pandemic, war in Ukraine, Brexit and austerity have all contributed to the rise in food and energy costs. Support packages take a bit of the pressure off but what else can the government do to help children in the long term?

Published:

cost of living facts

90%

of adults have seen an increase to their cost of living

1 in 3

children in the UK were already living in poverty prior to the crisis

how the cost of living crisis is impacting families

There's definitely been a hike in the prices - we are having to make really difficult choices

Families are seeing an increase in the prices of everything, most noticeably groceries and toiletries. For vulnerable families, such as some low-income migrant families who can't access the benefits system, putting food on the table and keeping children healthy is becoming increasingly difficult. And it's set to get worse.

cost of living support

mother holding daughter whilst calculating bills

Plastering over a crisis

Recently, the Chancellor announced a series of new support packages to ease the impact of energy and food price shocks. 

The support included £500million for the Household Support Fund to enable councils to support people in financial crisis. This means that eight million of the most vulnerable households will now receive a one-off payment of up to £1,200 to support them with increases to ease the cost of living.

Whilst these measures undoubtedly have a positive impact for many, there has been a real lack of commitment to ensuring children are shielded from the devastating impacts of this crisis.

Long term solutions

What we need from now is targeted support for children. One-off payments are a welcome boost, but the government must learn lessons from the pandemic. 

We need investment in a system that works for children and struggling families in the long-term, instead of pulling them back from the brink of financial crisis as and when.

what we're seeing within our services

boy blue hoody looking at camera

This means increasing child benefit, giving more children access to Free School Meals and more sustained funding for Local Welfare Assistance schemes.

This funding enables Local Authorities to provide emergency financial support to families when things go wrong. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the government have invested various pots of money into this scheme. But we need sustained investment of £421million per year to ensure vulnerable households are protected in the long term.

Pressure relief

There is no one answer to solve the cost of living crisis. But there are measures that can alleviate pressure on families:  

  • Extending free school meals to all children whose parents or guardians get Universal Credit 
  • Increasing child benefit  by £10
  • Committing to sustained and increased funding for Local Welfare Assistance  
  • Removing the barriers to support for low income migrant families with NRPF

These asks will prevent crisis and ease financial pressures for families, immediately and for the long-term. 

girl standing outside house looking at camera

Campaign with us

As the cost of living crisis worsens, families are being put under even more pressure. Children are going to bed cold, hungry and without hope.

The Government must act now to protect children's futures,