Christian Charity Survey: Parents Say Debt Affects Ability to Provide for Children

(Photo Credit: Liz Hingley/Save the Children)A man walks with his children in Birminghan, England in an undated photo.

Sixty-one percent of people with children say debt affects their ability to provide for their offspring, according to a new survey by a Christian debt counseling agency.

UK-based Christians Against Poverty (CAP) on Wednesday released figures from a survey of 1,500 of its clients to ask them how life was before they sought help.

In the survey, 18 percent of people in debt said they were unable to feed their children adequately and more than half said they could not clothe them properly. The previously unpublished information comes as another charity, Save the Children, issued its 2012 report.

"Parents on low incomes can so easily fall into debt. It just takes something like a broken washing machine and a bit of easy credit and a bit of easy credit and within weeks that family finds themselves servicing a debt with the little they have. That escalating pressure can have a very destructive impact on the whole family which means children suffer too," said Matt Barlow, CAP's Chief Executive.

Separately, a report by another UK-based charity, Save the Children, found one of eight of the UK's poorest children go without at least one hot meal per day.

There are an estimated 3.5 million children living in poverty in the nation Of those, 1.6 million are in severe poverty, with that figure expected to rise by 400,000 by 2015.

Save the Children asked parents to indicate their income and broke the results down by three income groups:

- Those reporting annual incomes of £0–£16,999 (US $27,093) (categorized as 'living in poverty'/'being on a low income' for the purposes of the report, as £17,000 is similar to the poverty line for a family of four).

- Those reporting annual incomes of £17,000– £29,999 (47,812) (classed as being on 'modest incomes' for the purposes of the report).

- Those reporting annual incomes of £30,000 and above (classed as 'better-off'/'more affluent households' for the purposes of the report).

£1 = US $1.59

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