Cash-strapped parents are going without to make sure kids have a merry Christmas

Christmas gifts for stock image
Christmas gifts for stock image

Parents in the East Midlands have slashed spending on themselves to afford Christmas or birthday gifts for their children.

That is the result of a poll of parents in the region, which showed 60 per cent have cut back so they can splash out on their offspring.

The survey, commissioned by UK charity Action for Children, shows more than a third – 38 per cent – regularly struggle to make their money last to the end of the month, making the festive season particularly difficult.

And more than half – 56 per cent – have also had to cut back on themselves to afford essentials like food, clothes and transport for their children.

Laurie Long, operational director at Action for Children in the East Midlands, said: “Parents want to give their children a magical Christmas, and this places a lot of pressure on them to spend.

“When so many of the region’s parents already struggle to make their money last with everyday living costs, Christmas can spark a crisis of stress, bills and debt.

“Parents worried about their money situation should seek help now to prepare for Christmas and to avoid the dreaded day in January when the bills land on the mat.

“Seeing how many parents struggle to make their money last from month to month is also a reminder of the difficult financial situation many people face every day with lower real incomes than before the recession.

“Many parents face these challenges simply because they have so little income.

“The Government must consider the importance of family income and how to maintain it in the wider economic environment.”

Action for Children provides access to money advice. For details, visit www.