Benefit cuts ‘hit families quality of life’

benefit cuts

benefit cutsAs a parent, all you want to do is provide for your children and give them the best possible start in life. However, it appears that austerity measures and benefit cuts are "disproportionately impacting" those of us on low pay, affecting the quality of life we give to our kids.

The charity Oxfam claims that six in every 10 of the 7.9 million working-age adults in poverty are not from jobless households.

It wants to see an increase in the current £6.08 minimum wage to protect families living on a low income from a "perfect storm" of benefit cuts, rising living standards and a lack of jobs.

The task of putting food on the table is becoming much harder for a lot of parents, with thousands more now turning to food banks and other charity facilities, Oxfam said. Average earnings shrank by 4.4% last year.

Oxfam's director of UK poverty, Chris Johnes, commented: "Despite the Government's rhetoric about making work pay, having a job is no longer necessarily enough to lift someone out of poverty.

"The Government is justifying huge cuts to welfare support for people on low incomes by saying this will incentivise work, but there simply aren't enough decent jobs available.

"We need to see income being distributed more fairly if we are to make any impact on reducing levels of poverty."

Little changes can save you money

The minimum wage is set to increase by 11p in October of this year, but in the meantime what can you do to improve your family's quality of life?

Little changes make a big difference when it comes to saving, so why not cut back on takeaway meals and cook your own versions instead? Also, do you really need all those monthly magazines and newspapers? Why not take a look online for your highlights, watch the news instead or ask your friends to pass on their copies when they're finished with them?

Try looking in charity shops when it comes to clothes shopping, as there are some great bargains to be found! Here you can generally expect to spend one third of what you would on new items. Check out charity shops in wealthy areas for some quality pre-loved goods.

Significant savings can also be made by reducing your energy bill. Wrapping your hot water tank in an insulating jacket could save you money, as could slipping on a jacket and turning your heating down.