A new report out today by the charity Family Action suggests that the lowest price for an acceptable Christmas for a low-income family with two children is £182.
The report,Breaking the Bank: A Cut Price Christmas for Low Income Families report highlights the problems families face today.
Based on the views of a snapshot of the families the charity supports shows that parents are under increasing pressure from the comercialisation of Christmas.
The cost of a Cut Price Christmas is less than a third of what an average family expect to spend on Christmas. In reality the majority of families that the charity spoke are set to spend between £100 and £200 with some paying less than £100.
The report also found that parents on the lowest incomes will have to spend up to two-and-a-half weeks of any cash they have left over after paying for essential basics like food, bills, transport to afford the cut-price Christmas, and this is only if they are not faced with any emergencies.
On top of this,finds the report, parents are paying a poverty premium on Christmas because lacking bank account overdrafts or credit cards to spread the cost they have chosen to budget in advance using options like vouchers, loyalty points, and Christmas Clubs.
Family Action Chief Executive Helen Dent said that “With families facing near unprecedented squeeze on their finances,particularly low income groups – this minimum standard will sadly still be too much for some families. Families are facing cuts to welfare support, rising food and fuel inflation and this is before the majority of the worst cuts to support have come in"