THE parents of Britain’s poorest children are going hungry so that their children have some food on the table.
Both parents and children are missing regular hot meals, unable to afford warm coats and new shoes and suffering enormous emotional strain, according to a new report from the Child poverty Action Group.
‘Child Poverty 2012: It Shouldn’t Happen Here’ reveals the extent to which poverty is blighting young lives.
One in eight of the poorest children in the UK go without at least one hot meal a day and one in ten of the UK’s poorest parents cut back on food to make sure their children have enough to eat, the report reveals.
The survey finds that children worry about their family not having enough money, with more than half of those living in poverty saying the lack of cash made their parents unhappy or stressed.
Almost a quarter of the poorest parents say they are arguing more or snap at their children because of their money troubles.
One in seven of the poorest children surveyed say they have to go without a warm winter coat and new shoes when they need them.
And nearly a fifth of children living in poverty say they miss out on school trips because their parents haven’t got the money.
80% of parents admitted that they were borrowing more money for essentials such as food and clothes.
Save the Children says that witnessing the financial worries of their parents is placing an impossible burden on children, when they should be concentrating on school and their future careers.
Eleven-year-old Duncan told researchers: ‘My mum makes sacrifices so that I can do the hobbies I want to do to keep me off the streets.
‘She cuts back on buying herself new shoes and clothes.’
Save the Children spoke to more than 1,500 youngsters and 5,000 parents in their wide-ranging report.
Chief Executive, Justin Forsyth, said: ‘No child should see their parent going hungry or start the new term without a warm coat and with holes in their shoes.
‘Poverty is tearing families apart, with parents buckling under the pressure of mounting bills and children seeing their parents argue more about money.
‘That’s why for the first time in our history we are launching a UK appeal.’