Britain has received a very low score on family friendliness, according to a report published yesterday by The Family and Parenting Institute. A number of family charities are not at all surprised.
Matt Buttery, CEO of Family Matters Institute, says, “Fathers are increasingly feeling the pressure of having to work longer hours in order to provide just the basic needs of their families. It’s even worse for non-resident fathers and fathers who have remarried, who are supporting the costs of two households.
“If these calculations are correct and the cost of raising a child in Britain is approximately £800 per month, by the time families have added on the costs of housing, utilities, and other basic requirements, one wonders what the monthly income of a family has to be sustain an acceptable standard of living.”
Paul Kellett of DadTalk.co.uk says, “Through our social networking site for fathers, we have heard users speak of cutting their pensions out in order to meet weekly household needs. With more and more parents taking this measure, leaving themselves vulnerable in old age, the cycle of poverty is set to continue.”
“The high cost of childcare in the UK is one of the reasons that families depend so heavily on grandparents to provide care,” says Julia Shipston of BeGrand.net. “One in four grandparents care for their grandchildren on a regular basis and provide an estimated £3.6 billion of childcare every year. Yet their role in supporting families goes largely unacknowledged. At BeGrand.net we’re committed to supporting grandparents, and believe it’s high time their contribution to family life was recognised.”
Family Matters, DadTalk.co.uk, and BeGrand.net call upon the new Families and Childhood task force to think outside the box and come up with legitimate solutions that will cut the cost of living for British families.