Christmas is supposed to be a season of joy, relaxation, and merriment.

I mean, surely the joyous spirit of the holidays will instill optimism in every home, even those with incomplete family members?

Well, the latest figures implied otherwise.

Just before the clock strikes twelve and everybody greets everybody a ‘Happy Christmas’, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) disclosed that 1.4 million households headed by single mothers have reduced their consumption of food and other necessities, while 1.1 million are being forced to use less gas or electricity in their homes this season.

With savings 20 times lower than the UK average, the data indicates that ‘lone-parent households’ were among those most severely impacted by the cost of living crisis.

Furthermore, the institute discovered that 74% of households headed by a single parent are experiencing extreme difficulty covering their energy bills, with a fifth falling behind on their payments. Half of the single parents were also reported to be relying on credit.

Who’s to blame for the cost of living crisis?

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Ms. Anneliese Dodds, a member of the Labour Party, said that single mothers have had to make difficult choices over the festive period, deciding which is more important: gifts, food, or heating. Dodds claims that the economic chaos caused by the Conservatives is to blame for this awful Christmas predicament. 

The ONS reports that since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, women’s average income has dropped by more than £1,200 and that progress in closing the gender pay gap has been “slow.”’

Chief Executive Victoria Benson of Gingerbread also shared her thoughts on the subject, stating that the COVID pandemic, years of hardship, and the current crisis in the cost of living have put these single mothers beyond their means. She added that although they have become experts at budgeting, they are still not miracle workers, and many simply can’t afford any extras this Christmas.

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