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Parents cut back on children’s hobbies amid soaring bills, research suggests

Some parents have cut back on leisure activities for children, researchers found (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Some parents have cut back on leisure activities for children, researchers found (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Hundreds of thousands of parents are making the “heart-breaking” decision to cut back on hobbies, leisure activities and clothes for their children amid soaring energy costs, new analysis has suggested.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) analysis found that 7% of people – an estimated 235,219 – had cut back on hobbies and leisure activities for their children in the past year.

This includes things like after school clubs, school trips and parties.

Meanwhile, 10%, an estimated 336,027 people, had cut back on clothes and accessories for their children.

The research is based on analysis of YouGov polling of 1,000 adults in Scotland in October.

It comes after recent CAS research found an estimated 3.36 million people have cut down on their spending due to rising energy costs in the past year.

CAS social justice spokesperson Emma Jackson said: “This is absolutely heart-breaking research in the run-up to Christmas.

“Every parent wants to treat their child and give them the best in life, but soaring energy bills have seen hundreds of thousands of people forced to cut back.

“People who are worried about money or bills this winter should know that the Citizens Advice network is here for them.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean one-to-one advice in a local CAB – we have online advice pages and self-help tools that help people see where they could boost their income or cut costs.

“The CAB network gets incredible results for people. Last year the average gain for someone who saw one after seeking advice was over £3,700.

“That can be absolutely life-changing money this winter. We don’t judge, we just help.”

CAS is running a “worried this winter” campaign, encouraging people to seek advice from the network in a variety of ways.

People can visit www.cas.org.uk/worried to find out more.

CAS said that last year the average gain from energy-related advice from across the network was more than £400 while advice gains generally for those who saw a benefit was more than £3,700.