Cost of raising a child 'hits ??148,000'

The cost of bringing up a child in Britain has risen to ??148,000, a charity said on Monday.

According to Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), expenses related to raising a child to the age of 18 have gone up by four percent over the last year compared to benefits payments which rose by only one percent.

The report, co-funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, added that the minimum wage climbed by 1.8 percent and average earnings by 1.5 percent over the past 12 months while child benefit stood unchanged.

"This research paints a stark picture of families being squeezed by rising prices and stagnant wages yet receiving ever-diminishing support from the government over the course of the last year," Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group said.

"Every parent knows it???s getting harder to pay for the essentials their children need and they don???t feel like politicians see them as a priority.

"Child benefit and child tax credit have been cut at the very time families need them most. Families are getting worse off and parents know it."

Child care costs have risen by 5.9 percent in the last year, the study said, with parents spending about ??160 a week.

The basic cost to raise a child over 18 years was ??81,772, or ??148,105 which included child care, rent and council tax.

For lone parents, the figures rise to ??90,980 and ??161,260 respectively.

"The task of making ends meet for families with children has always been hard, but is getting harder, and balancing family budgets has become a perilous and delicate act for hard-pressed parents," Katie Schmuecker, policy and research manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said.

"Flatlining wages, cuts to benefits and tax credits and the rising cost of essentials is creating a growing gap between income and needs."