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Cost of Living - 2023

Cost of Living 2023. Impact on Children is a report outlining the growing impact the cost of living crisis is having on children across the country. Over 73% of parents surveyed said the cost of living increases have negatively affected the children in their care over the past 6 months, with almost two in ten (17%) saying it has significantly affected them. 

The report outlines findings of a survey conducted by Amarach Research of a nationally representative survey of 315 parents and 30 one to one interviews with parents currently supported through Barnardos services. 

The survey findings show the realties some families are facing.

Download a Copy of the Report & Executive Summary
Over the past 6 months, have and or your children/children had to go without or cut down on any of the following due to cost of living increases? April 2023 April 2022
Heat 37% 28%
Electricity 23% 23%
Food 20% 16%
Clothing 43% 34%
Medical appointments/medicines/dentist/assessments 28% 17%
Social activities 57% 50%
Participating in local sports groups/clubs 20% n/a
School supplies 12% 8%
School trips/activities 23% n/a
Transport 14% 10%
Rent 5% 2%
None of the above 26% 37%

‘He has no lunch going to school, he can't afford to go places with his friends, he is sitting in a cold room trying to do his homework.’  

‘My daughter has 3 outfits and one pair of shoes that fits her, can’t afford to get her more. That’s not right.’

‘It’s very stressful. Children don’t know the price of living, they shouldn’t know we are not surviving at the minute. If prices get higher, I don’t know how we will survive.’

Barnardos Recommends

Reduce waiting times for parents seeking Additional Needs Payments where children are at risk of going without essentials. Benchmark social welfare payments in line with minimum essential standard of living measurements and raise the Qualified Child Increase in line with inflation.

Further expand the hot school meals programme to secondary schools and more non-DEIS schools. Pilot an expansion of school meals during holiday time. Publish an Action Plan on Food Poverty setting out specific targets for reducing the number children and families experiencing food poverty.  

Working with energy providers, the Government should ensure that families on low incomes using pre-paid meters with children living in the house are automatically placed on providers’ lowest tariffs. Provide an additional once off targeted lump sum to families most at risk of going without heating this coming winter to cover the continued exceptionally high price of heating.  

The Child Poverty and Wellbeing Unit should introduce measures to guarantee children living in low-income families can engage equitably in after school sporting and cultural activities. In the immediate term, this should include free public transport for children during holiday periods.  

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