Financial problems are pushing Britain’s families to breaking point, according to latest research.
A study by the Scottish Widows think tank, the Centre for the Modern Family, reveals the “increasingly desperate measures” families are taking to cope with the impact of recession.
Ten per cent of 18-34 year-olds have taken out a high-interest payday loan in the last year, compared to four per cent of the entire population.
Almost eight in 10 people said they feel family life is tougher now than it was a decade ago while one in five people said they are struggling to manage financially.
Two-fifths of the 1,500 adults polled said they are “just getting by”, and are having to sell items or go without food, with only seven per cent the UK population finding family life comfortable at present.
The report also suggests an increasing north-south divide with 55 per cent of people in the north of England saying they wished they could spend more time with their fammilies. 28 per cent of those in the north said they wanted to improve their work/life balance, compared to 26 per cent in the south.
Only 19 per cent of northern families said they could cope "very well", compared with 26 per cent of southerners.
Increased living costs and falling wages, coupled with the rising cost of childcare and the ongoing economic climate, are creating a nation of “on the brink Britons”, the report said.
The younger generation appears to be bearing the brunt, according to the study. People aged 18 to 34 are more likely to have resorted to selling items online in the past 12 months to make ends meet, compared with the national average. They are also twice as likely to have taken out a payday loan to tide them over.
Meanwhile, one in five young people has been left unable to pay household bills and one in eight has skipped meals in order to ensure their family eats well, the research reveals.
Lord Leitch, chairman of the Centre for the Modern Family, said: “These findings paint a stark and in some cases desperate picture of family life in Britain today as families feel the squeeze of these difficult times.
“Young people in particular face a very different kind of working life from the one that their parents and grandparents experienced.
“Affordable housing and a comfortable retirement are just two aspects that can no longer be taken for granted and as a result young people now face an increasingly uncertain future.”
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