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Young women facing worrying times

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Young Women's Trust, young parents, Christmas, debt, Worrying Times, reportIn some cases, low pay means an hour’s childcare costs more than an hour’s wages.

New figures show that a third of young parents expect to get into debt this Christmas, as food costs rise and wages stagnate.

Office for National Statistics inflation data released on 12 December 2017 showed inflation rose to 3.1 per cent in November – the highest in nearly six years – partly due to a big jump in food costs.

And a Populus Data Solutions poll of more than 4,000 young people showed that nearly one in five young women (18 per cent) will be in debt this Christmas, compared to one in seven young men (15 per cent).

29 per cent of mums and dads aged 18-30 told Young Women’s Trust, a charity that supports young women on low or no pay, that they will most likely be faced with expenses they cannot afford over the festive period.

And young women, with and without children, are more likely to be in debt over Christmas than young men.

A report earlier this year by the Young Women’s Trust found that money is particularly tight for young mums, with 61 per cent aged 16-24 saying that they were ‘just about’ managing financially.

But nearly half (46 per cent) said they regularly missed meals in order to provide for their children.

And one third admitted to being worried about the financial situation in their household, with one in ten (11 per cent) being extremely worried.

Then shockingly, more than a quarter of young mums (27 per cent) said the used foodbanks or have used them in the past.

Young Women’s Trust chief executive, Dr Carole Easton, said: “Young people tell us they want to work hard and be financially independent but as prices rise and wages remain low, more and more are struggling.

“Christmas is a particularly hard time for those on low pay who want to provide for their families.

“Young women are more likely [than young men] to be stuck on low pay and on zero hours contracts.

“Often they don’t know how many hours they will work each month and whether they will earn enough to pay their bills.

“It can be particularly hard for young mums; in some cases, low pay means an hour’s childcare costs more than an hour’s wages.

“As a result, many are failing to make ends meet and are falling into debt.

“Much more needs to be done to improve young people’s prospects,” Easton continued.

“This means giving them the right skills and support to find jobs, ensuring decent and flexible jobs are available and paying a proper living wage that doesn’t discriminate against age.

“This would benefit businesses and the economy too,” she added.

To read the full report, ‘Worrying Times’, based on the survey findings, click here.

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