The cost of raising children

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Nearly half of mums are worried their children will struggle to afford to have their own children, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.

Some 47% said they felt their children would not be able to afford to have children, compared to 28% who said they thought their children would be able to afford to have their own children and 25% who were unsure.

Those on the yes and no sides were quite divided. One mum who said her children would struggle to afford to be able to have children commented: “I am married with a partner, both earning good salaries and we are delaying having a child until we have saved enough money to cover us during my maternity leave as we could not survive on the SMP offered by my company.”

Meanwhile, some of those who said their children would be able to afford to have children felt the question was “ridiculous”.

There has been a lot of focus in the run-up to the Budget on the situation of young people facing rising housing costs, flatlining salaries and debt.

Research by Generation Rent and The Guardian found that having a child while living in rental accommodation has become unaffordable for young families in two thirds of the UK. Housing has become a key issue for the London mayoral elections and former Conservative minister David Willetts, highlighting the growing divide between the generations, pointed out that the proportion of homeowners under 35 has halved since the turn of the century, saying it is a particular issue in London, where incomes have fallen once you allow for housing costs.

In their recent book, Jilted Generation: How Britain Has Bankrupted Its Youth, Ed Howker and Shiv Malik state: “The idea that women are postponing motherhood because they are choosing to concentrate on their careers is totally out of date. Now, a whole generation of women are saying they would love to have children – but they simply don’t feel secure enough financially.”

The cost of raising a child to the age of 21 [and one who attends state school] is calculated to be £230,000, a rise of 65% since 2003, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Much of the inflation is due to the rising cost of childcare.





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