Children wearing wrong-sized shoes and pyjamas in daytime as parents cut costs 1 month ago

Children wearing wrong-sized shoes and pyjamas in daytime as parents cut costs

A cost of living crisis.

Prices are going up, and most of us are feeling it. From groceries to petrol and electricity prices, the cost of living has increased drastically over the past few months, and while most are having to curb out outgoings and cut down on luxuries, for some, the crisis is even more devastating.

According to staff at Barnados, some children are now wearing hand-me-down shoes that don't fit and pyjamas in the daytime as parents cut costs trying to make ends meet.

People working at the charity have reported there is a surge in parents resorting to using child benefit — which they would normally spend on key clothing items for children such as a coat or shoes — to pay for electricity and heat.

A recent survey of more than 300 parents and guardians released by Barnardos this month found that 28 percent have cut back or gone without heat, and that 23 percent have cut back or gone without electricity.

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"I have worked in Barnardos for a long number of years and what I am seeing now is the kind of deprivation we would have seen back in the '80s," Esther Pugh, manager of the Barnardos centre in Dublin's Loughlinstown reveals to the Irish Examiner.

"It is bad — there is no point saying otherwise."

Pugh said families hit by rising living costs are buying children open-ended footwear such as flip-flops to get extended wear out of them and cheap pyjamas to use as daywear.

"Even cheaper than the clothes are the PJs. Some of the summer PJs are quite cute and we would have children coming into the service wearing their pyjamas for day clothes, and specifically bought to be day clothes," she said.

"It's parents being really resourceful."

No money to run washing machines or tumble dryers

Staff at Barnados says the big worry to many is electricity running out — and that families don't have money to run their washing machines and tumble dryers.

"The centre has seen more families seeking help and relying on the charity for food vouchers and hampers, as well as using its facilities to wash and dry their clothes"

Food is another worry, and according to the Irish Examiner, local charity Cork’s Penny Dinners is now feeding around 3,000 people a week with food hampers and meals.

This cones as supermarket analysts Kantar recently predicted the recent price rises could add €453 to the average annual grocery bill, a figure over €100 higher than predicted just a month ago.

"Food and drink prices are on a steady upwards trajectory and many people will be feeling understandably worried about the rising cost of living," Emer Healy, senior retail analyst at Kantar said.

"Grocery prices in Ireland have jumped by 6.5 percent, the highest rise in almost 10 years adding further pressures to household incomes already dealing with soaring energy and transport bills."

Some of the sharpest price increases were amongst essential items such as butter, eggs, bread and flour, Kantar concluded.