Grandparents in Britain are going broke through caring for the third generation
12 months ago, 30 Dec 22:51
Maureen Seed’s daughter had drug problems and could not look after her two children. So Maureen took over and cared for her grandkids for 16 years, amassing a huge amount of debt in the process. According to recent surveys, there is an increasing problem in Britain of grandparents running up large debts through raising children whose parents cannot look after them. Nearly 200,000 British children are being raised by family members other than their parents, usually the grandparents. Maureen was 62, her husband in a care home after a stroke, and money was scarce when she rescued her grandson Louis and a younger granddaughter. Louis, now 21 and at university, said: “I feel like my nan saved my life. I remember some of the houses I was in with my mum, scruffy houses full of strangers. We had to get out of there.” Maureen said: “I wanted them out of that, to have a happy, stable childhood, to have things other children had.” BANKRUPTCY But in raising the pair, ensuring they had school uniforms, school trips and holidays, she accrued £20,000 of credit card debt and is currently going through bankruptcy proceedings to clear the amount. A charity expert said there is no statutory financial entitlement for kinship carers such as grandparents. Pressure is now being exerted on the government to introduce a national minimum allowance to cover the cost of raising a child. Eventually, Maureen got family allowances and child tax credits and a residency payment from the council of £40 per child per week. *** Watching TV at night, lone pensioner Albert Scott, 84, of Gateshead thought he heard noises at his back door. Turning down the sound, he went to investigate and found himself face to face with a man holding a knife. “Give me your ******* money,” the intruder demanded. Replied Albert: “You’re getting nowt off me.” The old man then seized a frying pan from the kitchen stove and hit the would-be-thief so hard with it that the handle broke. The man fled into the night. Good for you, Albert! *** Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, has traditionally been the day for bargain shopping here in UK, but that is changing. Statistics showed that Boxing Day last week attracted 4.5 per cent fewer shoppers than last year. The reasons: More people are shopping online and many bargain-hunters have already purchased what they wanted on or after Black Friday, the fourth Friday of November. This latter date, an American innovation, seems to be agreed as marking the start of the Christmas shopping season. “The hot spots for Christmas trading being around Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are dissipating,” an expert said. Chris Daly, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “Gone are the days of setting the alarm at six in the morning to be first in line for the Boxing Day sales.” By the way, why do they call it Boxing Day? Nothing to do with pugilism, but in the past, ...
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