Costs of having second child ‘exaggerated’

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Many parents are being put off having more than one child because of the “exaggerated warnings” about the costs, a think tank has said.

Mothers and fathers are being persuaded just to have one child because of fears over how expensive another would be, according to a book released by Civitas.

But research shows that children with siblings are more likely to be healthier and happier, argues journalist Colin Brazier in his book Sticking Up For Siblings.

The book highlights that the number of single-child families has risen from 18 per cent in 1972 to 26 per cent in 2007.

Parents should be wary of “PR-driven scare stories about the expense”, the book argues.

A number of reports about the costs of parenting more than one child fail to take into account savings such as handed-down clothes and toys, it says.