Cost-of-living crisis: Parents reducing children’s hobbies due to rising energy bills, study suggests

Almost half of Scots have had to reduce household spending to try to cope with rising energy bills, research has revealed, with almost one in ten having made the “heart-breaking” decision to cut back on children’s activities.

Research looking at the impact of rising energy bills found 48 per cent of adults in Scotland have had to cut back on household spending due to energy costs.

This included 9 per cent – equivalent to 198,854 people – who have done so by reducing spending on hobbies and leisure activities for their children, such as after-school clubs, parties and school trips.

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Meanwhile, 7 per cent are cutting back on clothing and accessories, with Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) warning as a result, “tens of thousands” of children are missing out due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Boys playing in a soccer match. Picture: Getty ImagesBoys playing in a soccer match. Picture: Getty Images
Boys playing in a soccer match. Picture: Getty Images

The consumer body analysed polling data from YouGov, in which 1,002 adults were questioned – with 484 of them saying they had had to cut back on household spending due to rising energy costs.

The advice network has now launched its Big Energy Saving Winter campaign in a bid to help those worried about energy bills, urging people to seek advice from their local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Last year, they managed to unlock £132 million of cash for people through social security and employment entitlements.

CAS chief executive Derek Mitchell said: “In the run-up to Christmas, parents will want to treat their kids while balancing the demands of the cost-of-living crisis.

“This analysis suggest many are having to make the heart-breaking decision to cut back on things for their kids to deal with rising energy bills.

“That is a horrible situation for any parent to be in, and we would encourage anyone worried about energy bills and the cost of living to seek advice from the CAB network.

“We are for everyone, whether they are working or not. We don’t judge, we just help.

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“Our advisers get real results. Last year, we unlocked £132 million for people, and people who saw a financial benefit from seeking advice on average were over £4,200 better off.”

It comes as Midlothian Council earlier this week confirmed free hot drinks and soup would be available at two local libraries as they opened their doors as ‘Warm and Well’ hubs to provide support during winter.

The hubs in Lasswade and Newbattle libriares will provide warm spaces for people to gather alongside drinks and soup and bread during normal opening hours.



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