Families already 'worried sick' about cost of Christmas, survey finds

A Mumsnet poll found that most are more worried about the bills than usual. Two in five are more likely to buy useful gifts rather than what the recipient wants.

And the worries have a domino effect with nearly a third fewer people saying they will donate to food banks than last year.

Comments from the 1,000 website users surveyed included: “We can’t afford the heating this winter or cost-of-living rises. We are expecting to be poor, cold and miserable as we cannot afford gifts for our children.”

Another said: “Might have heating for Christmas Day but not any other day in winter. Where am I going to find the money for presents? Worried, scared and upset.” And a third added: “Worried sick.

“We can barely afford to eat at the moment so when the energy price rises come into force in October, I don’t know how we’ll manage. We’re already skipping meals.”

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet chief executive said: “We were shocked at the level of fear and apprehension that this research revealed.

“Mums told us repeatedly that rather than looking forward to the festive season, they are – in their words – ‘sick with worry’.

“We’ve heard precious little from Tory leadership candidates on how they will tackle soaring energy bills, sky-high childcare costs and ever increasing food and fuel bills. This has to change. The next prime minister must take
office with a plan to immediately ease pressures – or this winter could be catastrophic.”

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