A new analysis of official figures by Action for Children published on Thursday 23 April suggests the majority of children in the UK are living in families with little or no savings to shield them from the unprecedented economic disruption to family finances expected from the coronavirus crisis.
A month into a lockdown that’s seen millions of jobs put at risk, the charity’s pre-pandemic snapshot shows at least 8.6 million children – nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of all children in the UK – were living in families with savings less than the average monthly income (£1,569). Half of children (51 per cent) live in families with no savings at all.
With ongoing problems with Universal Credit and delays to vouchers for free school meals4, Action for Children is warning these families are now teetering on the brink and has launched an emergency appeal to help families facing months of hardship, struggling to pay for essentials like food, nappies and utility bills.
The research also found a stark North-South divide in family savings, showing those in the North East were most likely to have little or no money set aside for the crisis (71 per cent), compared to those in the South East (56 per cent) who had the largest financial safety net.
You can read the report here (opens in a new tab)