Single-parent households are among the most exposed to the cost of living crisis, with a savings pot 20 times lower than the UK average, according to an analysis.
Labor analysis, using figures from the Office for National Statistics describing wealth in Britain, shows single parents with dependent children had £400 in savings between April 2018 and March 2020, compared to £8,000 for all households.
The cost of living has weighed on households across the UK, with 90% reporting an increase in their cost of living affected by rising fuel and food prices.
Single parents with dependent children had the lowest average net worth of any group, followed by single parents with non-dependent children, at £1,700.
By contrast, households where the couple are both over statutory retirement age and have no children have the highest amount of savings, at £59,600.
The analysis also reveals how the financial burden caused by lack of savings disproportionately affects women, given that women represent 90% of single-parent families.
The findings come after Cabinet ministers were urged to find ‘non-fiscal’ ways to tackle the cost of living crisis on Monday, with Dominic Raab subsequently coming under pressure when asked about the inability of the government to introduce policies to combat the crisis.
Labor has called for the presentation of an emergency budget, with policies that would include a windfall tax, a cut on business tariffs and a National Crime Agency investigation into taxpayers’ money lost to cause of the fraud.
Anneliese Dodds, Shadow MP for Women and Equality, said: ‘As payslips land on doormats across the country today, families are finding out just how much the Tories are pulling out of their pockets by increasing national insurance.
“With a pot of savings 20 times smaller than that of the average UK household entering the cost of living crisis, single parents will feel the pain more than most.
“Conservatives think it’s ‘dumb’ to do more to help families with skyrocketing bills. Labor is demanding an emergency budget to adopt sensible, costed and practical measures to help households, including a cut in energy bills of up to £600 paid for through a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
Victoria Benson, chief executive of Gingerbread, a charity that supports single parent families, said saving was a “distant dream” for many single parents.
She added: “I have heard heartbreaking stories of mums going without food to be able to feed their children and of people being pushed into poverty because, despite working as many hours as possible, they don’t cannot cover basic living expenses.
“Single-parent families have very little financial flexibility, and while other families may be able to cut luxuries from their budget, single parents have to go without essentials like food and heating.”
Joeli Brearley, the founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, said: “We know that single parents have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, especially when schools have closed and they have been unable to rely on a partner. to do all the extra unpaid work.
“Many have been forced out of their jobs or taken a pay cut through no fault of their own. Directly from this crisis they are now plunged into a new crisis as bills rise dramatically without warning, but the majority are already living hand to mouth.
“We know that sky-high childcare costs create not only a cost of living crisis, but also a labor cost crisis, especially for single parents.
“Our recent survey of 27,000 parents found that three-quarters – 73% – of single parents say childcare costs the same or more than their rent or mortgage, making more than half – 53% – of single parents say they have to skip meals or give up heating and fuel to pay for childcare.
“At this point, we have to wonder what the government really means when it talks about investing in hard working families, because single parents, who personify that, are clearly being ignored by this government.”