One in eight London families with children go ‘without essentials’

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One in eight London families with children go ‘without essentials’
Credit Unsplash

Around one in eight households with children in London say they are going without essentials such as food, electricity or gas, new polling has revealed.

The survey – conducted by YouGov and commissioned by City Hall – has highlighted how the continuing impact of the cost of living crisis on Londoners is being particularly felt by families with children.

The poll found that among all Londoners, around 8 percent report that they are going without essentials like power, heating or meals.

When the data is broken down into households with or without children, the figure for families without children drops slightly to 7 percent.

But among families with children, the proportion saying they are going without the basics rises to 13 per cent – roughly one in eight of those households.

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The poll also showed almost half of London households with children (49 per cent) think that they will struggle to pay for their regular household food shop within the next six months.

In addition, some 17 per cent of parents andd carers say they are already using more credit or going into debt, including overdrafts, loans, credit or store cards or missing payments.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the data highlighted the urgency of his free holiday meals programme, which is expected to provide around 10m free holiday meals to low-income families across the capital over the next year.

“It is simply appalling that so many families are struggling to put food on the table due to the spiralling cost of living,” Mr Khan said.

“That is why I’ve once again stepped in with emergency funding to help those most in need during the school holidays.

“I’m proud that we’ve provided more than three million meals so far and will be providing millions more to help hundreds of thousands of Londoners throughout the summer break.

“It cannot be right that in a city as prosperous as ours so many people are faced with impossible choices to try to feed their families.

“As mayor, I will continue to do all I can to support Londoners and urge the Government to make full use of its powers to stop children going hungry, as we build a fairer city for all.”

A Government spokesman said in response: “Our Holiday Activities and Food programme, backed by over £200 million per year to 2025, provides heathy meals, enriching activities and free childcare places to children from low-income families over the holidays.

“We are committed to helping the most vulnerable and that’s why we have provided an extra £1 billion to the Household Support Fund to help with essential costs including food, clothing and utilities.”

A recent analysis, funded by the Trust for London, found that more than three and a half million Londoners, including one million children, live on an income below what is needed for a “basic standard of living”.

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