Children lend cash to parents

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Children as young as eight are loaning their pocket money to their cash-strapped parents, a study has found.

Some 58 per cent of eight to 15-year-olds surveyed by Halifax said they worry about the family’s finances, showing how the intense pressure on household budgets is affecting young people.

Almost a third (31 per cent) of 1,132 children surveyed said they had lent money to someone else. Of those who had, about two thirds said they loaned cash to friends and 29 per cent said they had given loans to their parents.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of the eight-year-olds who were questioned said they sometimes lend money to other people. Of this group, 35 per cent said they lend money to their parents.

Real disposable incomes dropped to their lowest levels in nine years in the first quarter of this year to reach £273 a week, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) study found last month.

Family budgets have been squeezed by high living costs, high unemployment and low wage rises, although there have been some signs of improvement as inflation eases off.

Children in London are the most likely to worry about money, with 64 per cent of those surveyed there saying they did this. Children in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside said they were the least likely to worry about money, with 49 per cent and 50 per cent respectively saying they were concerned about finances.