Breaking news: babies cost a lot
I wrote before about the true cost of having a baby when we, the scroungers, were accused of popping them out just for the sake of extra money from the government. Mind that I wrote it without the benefit of ever having a child, even being close friends with someone who has a child or actually planning to have one. Therefore, the recent report from Aviva and Santander was puzzling:
Such is the extent of the monthly outlay on children that one in 20 parents say they would not have had a child in the first place if they were aware of the true cost of raising them.
The 0.05% might not seem like a lot but it means that just last year over 40,000 babies were born through sheer ignorance of their parents. Perhaps family clinics should start promoting arithmetic skills along with the awareness of contraceptive methods.
They go on to say that £537 is spent on a child every month. That already includes (to some extent) reliance on hand-me-downs, charity shops and accepting help from family members.
We would receive £357 a month in child tax credits and child benefits. That would leave us £180 short every month. No amount of second-hand items and family goodwill is going to cover such a shortfall day-in day-out for the next 16 or so years.
Unfortunately we are not the sky subscribing, cider drinking mythical creatures who can have it all while living on benefits. As all our expenditure is scaled down past the minimum, we would go hungry (very often). We would have to rely on our non-existent food bank (for the joy of free food, obviously). IDS will be happy to hear we will not be having a child partly due to our financial circumstances. Even if by some miracle I will be able to work again, we will still not take the chance because redundancies and ill-health happen. It happened once to us and it could happen again.
At the same time, the government and the tabloids are trying to say you are actually in profit if you have children while on benefits. Forget money education at schools, we should start with the politicians.