SCOTTISH children receive some of the highest levels of pocket money in the UK, according to new figures.
The amounts handed to young people by parents and grandparents are at their highest levels since 2007 across the UK and Scottish kids receive £6.71 a week, the third-highest figure of any area, figures show. The figure is up 6 per cent on last year.
Only youngsters in London, who receive £7.60, and the north west of England, £6.93, are given more. Children in the north-east of England are given the same amount as their Scottish counterparts on a weekly basis.
The last time handouts were higher was in 2007, when it was on average £8.01. That figure dropped steeply the following year to £6.13 in the wake of the global financial slowdown. The typical weekly amount being handed out to eight to 15-year-olds is £6.50, marking a 52p-a-week increase on a year ago, the Halifax building society said.
The rise in pocket money is being taken as a further sign that families are starting to feel better about the economy. Evidence of improving consumer confidence has recently been shown in areas such as the housing market, which has seen an upturn in activity and rising prices.
Last week, the Treasury said the UK is “moving from rescue to recovery” after official figures revealed the economy grew by more than initially thought between April and June.
But Andrew Watson, head of the Parent Perspective, said that the figures could be interpreted as a sign that parents were aware of the impact that their own financial cutbacks had on their children and were compensating for this through increased pocket money.
“I can well understand that people feeling the pinch will want to ensure that their children aren’t impacted by that, and perhaps give themselves some reassurance by still being able to spend on their children,” he said. “It’s like dining out or holidays, people are still going out for meals or on holiday, but they’re cutting back on other major expenditure. I wouldn’t take it as a reflection on improving economy necessarily.
“Pocket money is one way of easing one’s concerns about not giving what your children really want, which is time spent with them.”
He added, however, that the rise in pocket money could also be a simple reflection of parents acknowledging that the cost of living has gone up generally.
The figures also show that there has been a rise in the proportion of children receiving pocket money over the last year across Britain as households ease their purse strings. Some 84 per cent are now given money, compared with 77 per cent in 2012.
Boys receive more money from their parents than girls, at £6.67 compared with £6.32.
The research shows that girls are more accepting of what they receive. Just over one third, 38 per cent, of girls thought they should get more, compared with almost half, 44 per cent, of boys.
Boys are also more likely to feel it is important to know how much cash their friends are getting, with 45 per cent of boys saying this compared with 40 per cent of girls.
Richard Fearon, head of Halifax Savings, said: “The responses that children have given to this year’s survey are extremely positive. Not only are more children getting pocket money, and more of it, but they are also more content with the amount that they are receiving.”