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Christian charity questions cost of raising a child

The Christian-based Family Matters Institute is questioning new figures claiming the cost of bringing up the average child to the age of 21 has risen to over £220,000.

The FMI said that while the statistics are helpful in showing the increase in the UK's cost of living, most families who earn the average industrial wage of £30,000 will struggle to empathise with the huge sums outlined in the report.

The Cost of a Child Report has found that parents spend an average of more than £19,000 on food and around 16-thousand pounds on holidays per child. The report by the insurance firm LV also claims the cost of education, including uniforms, after-school clubs and university fees, has more than doubled from £32,593 to £72,832 per child. And childcare bills, including babysitting, have leapt by 61% from £39,613 in 2003, to £63,738 today. More than a quarter have bought their child an electronic device in the past 12 months, at an average of £302. The most expensive area to raise children is still London at £239,123.

However, Matt Buttery from FMI told Premier he's taking the figures with a pinch of salt:

But Mark Jones from LV said paying out for kids doesn't end at 21:

"With the difficulties of people getting on the housing ladder etc, there's an awful lot of parents helping their children way past the age of 21, they may have debts coming out of university etc."

Ash Wilkinson, Specialist Advisor for Christians Against Poverty, told Premier's Victoria Laurence on the News Hour that parents musn't bow to the pressures of materialism:

Kalpana Fitzpatrick from Mummy Money Matters isn't surprised at the figures.

She said:

"It's escalating and costs go on and on and prices are always rising and it's just maintaining a household as well, that's costly. 

"So we as a family are trying to make cut backs where we can and I think all families are trying to do that."

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