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'Very Stark' Almost half of single parents sacrificed heating and food during pandemic

Research conducted by St Vincent de Paul found that the number of people struggling to make ends meet has doubled since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Almost half of single parents said they have cut back on essential heating and 37pc have cut back on other essentials like food. Photo: Monkey Business Images

Almost half of single parents said they have cut back on essential heating and 37pc have cut back on other essentials like food. Photo: Monkey Business Images

Almost half of single parents said they have cut back on essential heating and 37pc have cut back on other essentials like food. Photo: Monkey Business Images

Almost half of all single-parent households have cut back on essentials like housing and food during the pandemic, according to a new survey.

Research conducted by St Vincent de Paul found that the number of people struggling to make ends meet has doubled since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some 37pc of single parents have said that they have had to cut back on food, while almost half said they have had to cut back on essential heating due to rising energy costs.

Speaking on Newstalk on Thursday, SVP Head of Social Justice and Policy Dr Tricia Keilthy said the findings are “very stark.”

She said that those people who were already vulnerable and struggling financially were the most impacted over the past two years.

She said: “They are very stark figures but they would really align with what we are seeing in terms of the support we are providing to people at the moment who are really struggling with those costs across the country.

“For example, almost half of single parents said they have cut back on essential heating and 37pc have cut back on other essentials like food.

“What is quite obvious from the research is that people on the lowest incomes - people who were struggling already - had to go into debt. They had to use savings during the pandemic.”

“Better off households were able to build up savings and then they have a better buffer in terms of the price increases we are experiencing at the moment.”

The Government is tonight expected to announce new measures to tackle the soaring cost of living.

Dr Keilthy said it is essential that the Government gets its right “to prevent serious hardship in the coming weeks and months.”

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“There is a real danger we could see a deepening of poverty unless the supports that we hear announced from Government are sufficient to help people stay afloat and ensure they can meet their living costs,” she said.

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